SABADELL bank has moved its headquarters to Alicante over fears Catalunya will break from Spain.

Barcelona-based Sabadell, Catalunya’s second largest bank, has 11 million customers.

MOVING OUT: Sabadell heads to Alicante

The bank said the switch would ‘protect the interests of our customers, shareholders and employees’.

It comes as CaixaBank, Catalunya’s largest lender, eyes up a possible switch to Palma de Mallorca.

“Banco Sabadell will continue to carry on its business as usual to attend to the companies and families throughout all the territories in which it operates, under the supervision of the European Central Bank and the regulations of the European Banking Authority,” a spokesperson said.

Following the news Sabadell shares were up 1.54% in early morning trading on Friday.

No bank staff will be relocated as a result of the move of  Sabadell’s legal headquarters.

Last year, Sabadell changed its rules to make any change of headquarters effective immediately.

Meanwhile, CaixaBank has refused to confirm it is planning a move away from its Catalan base.

A spokesperson said ‘no decision had been taken’ on leaving the north-east region, although it is believed Palma is one destination being considered.