Pimec fears a credit drop of €54.000 million if BBVA's takeover bid succeeds

The SME employers' association reminds that concentrations lead to less financing for companies

2 min
The president of Pimec, Antoni Cañete, and the general secretary, Josep Ginesta.

BarcelonaUp to 54,000 million euros less credit. This is, according to Pimec, the feared situation that will occur in the event that BBVA's takeover bid for Banc Sabadell succeeds and there is a merger between entities. This was warned this Tuesday by the SME Observatory, linked to the employers' association of Catalan SMEs, in the presentation of a report in which it reiterated its opposition to an operation that would make one of the four large Spanish banks disappear.

"At Pimec we come from the future, and we have already seen the results of mergers, which have resulted in less supply," claimed Antoni Cañete, president of Pimec. As he explained, when a company has two credit facilities in two different banking entities and one is absorbed by the other, the company does not keep a million in availability and in some cases not even 500,000 euros. "Financing is our oxygen and we see that financing will be reduced, with what this entails," Cañete stressed.

The president of the Observatory, the economist Oriol Amat, has given different economic arguments to explain his opposition to the merger. From the outset he has claimed that the Herfindahl-Hirschman index places the degree of financial concentration in Catalonia at a worrying level, and with the merger there would be a jump of 599 points that would leave it in a state of oligopoly.

It should be said that credit is where the situation is especially worrying, because a BBVA-Sabadell merger would raise the market share of the new resulting entity to 39.6%, even higher than the 32.4% that CaixaBank has. , the leader of the sector in Catalonia. In this sense, Amat has explained that if the average credit reduction that has occurred in Spain after the last three bank mergers is applied, a reduction of 8% in credit can be expected, which would mean a drop of 54,000 millions in loans to companies and customers.

It should be said that the president of BBVA, Carlos Torres, has repeatedly denied this scenario, and has insisted that if they want the merger it is precisely to grow business.

Amat's analysis also suggests that it could cause the closure of between 883 and 589 offices and the reduction of between 7,685 and 10,567 jobs. The calculations existing until now left the workforce cut between 4,000 and 5,000 employees.

Reply to Cani Fernández

The president of the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), Cani Fernández, has insisted in recent days that a reduction in entities does not have to mean a drop in competition in the sector. Josep Ginesta, general secretary of Pimec, has contradicted his argument: "As a concept, whenever there is only one supplier of a product, it sets its conditions taking advantage of its dominant situation." According to Ginesta, "when oxygen depends only on one actor, you are less likely to have access" and warned that "if there is no access to credit, this country will stop moving forward and go backwards."