The CEO of Santander Spain, Ángel Rivera, assured at the CREO 2024 forum that the possible merger of BBVA and Sabadell would not pose a concentration problem in the Spanish banking sector. “Even if the merger of BBVA and Sabadell ultimately comes to fruition, I don’t think we will have a concentration problem,” he stated.

The manager explained that the banking sector is “very regulated” and that regulators require a lot of capital to make technological investments, a situation in which banks “have to have mass, size.”

“It is true that if we now compare the number of entities in Spain from the crisis of 2008, 2009, 2010, obviously there are fewer of us, right? But there are also many small, local entities, rural savings banks that work very well in their environment and in the end we compete with them”, argued the CEO of Santander Spain.

Furthermore, he has highlighted the importance of observing prices, especially of credits, in Spain and comparing them with European countries, which makes Spanish banking “extremely competitive.” “Also the National Markets and Competition Commission does not see that we are in a market with concentration,” he added.

The CEO of Santander Spain has also highlighted the high quality of Spanish financial institutions and the competitiveness of the sector. “The merger in the financial sector, the high quality that we have in financial institutions in Spain, what it does is that we compete and that we are a very competitive market, large and small,” he stated.

Regarding Santander’s possible participation in a merger or acquisition, Rivera has commented that his entity has a “fiduciary duty” to analyze the possibilities of any inorganic operation, although the bank “is not there.”

“We have opted for organic growth after the acquisition and absorption of Banco Popular and we continue to bet on it,” he stated.