Catalan separatists under pressure from business

A customer stands at an ATM of the 'Banco Sabadell', the fifth-largest banking group in Spain, the day on which it will announce the relocation of its headquarters from Catalonia to Alicante in the Valencian Community, in Barcelona, Spain, 05 October 2017. The Catalan regional government said it is on the move to declare independence on 09 October 2017. Photo: Matthias Oesterle/ZUMA Wire/dpa

Catalonia’s independence plans have come under more pressure from the financial sector, with banks deciding to move their HQs and ratings agencies downgrading the region.

On Thursday, the Sabadell bank, Spain’s fifth largest, decided to move from Barcelona to Alicante, saying it needed to protect the interests of its clients, depositors and shareholders.

The bank has lost almost 15 percent of its value on the markets over the last week. Another bank, CaixaBank – Catalonia’s main bank and Spain’s third biggest bank – is expected to take the same decision on Friday and move from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca or Madrid.

Also on Friday, the Spanish government is expected to issue a decree that will allow companies based in Catalonia to move out of the region without holding a shareholders meeting.

Ibex, the Madrid stock exchange’s main index, was up 2.51 percent on Thursday, after losing 2.85 percent the day before. Sabadell shares went up 6.16 percent after the bank’s decision to move was announced. CaixaBank’s shares rose 4.93 percent. The two banks’ decisions to leave Catalonia, a day after the region’s leader Carles Puigdemont suggested that separatist authorities could declare independence in the coming days, demonstrates business’s fears at potentially being taken out of the EU and the eurozone…

Read more : EUObserver, 06.10.2017