BANKIA is officially no more.
The bank founded 12 years ago as a result of merging seven savings banks – including Caja Madrid and the Valencian Bancaixa – and absorbed by Catalan giant CaixaBank in September last year, appeared on the stock market on Friday (March 26) for the last time under its own moniker.
All Bankia signs and logos will now disappear and the entity will no longer feature on the books, with the new, expanded CaixaBank entering the Ibex 35 this morning (Monday).
The resulting institution is now the largest financial group in Spain with more than €660 billion in assets, an estimated 50,000 employees and a network of 6,700 branches throughout the country to provide a service for around 20 million clients.
It is also the first of several predicted mergers leading to a concentration of the Spanish financial market into a few huge conglomerates, in an attempt to remain solvent in these COVID-hit times.
Spokespeople for CaixaBank insist that the absorption will not cause any problems for former Bankia customers.
The first four digits of account numbers will change from Bankia’s old 2038 to CaixaBank’s 2100, but the switch will take place automatically free of charge and account holders are not required to do anything.
However, customers are advised to check whether the number change has been carried out correctly, and from that point onwards the new IBAN must be used in all operations.
All standing orders will be passed over by the bank, but again it is recommended that clients make sure everything is ok.
Mortgages, loans, insurance policies and other time-limited financial products remain unchanged, although when it comes to renew the contract, the new institution could offer different conditions.
With regards to current and savings accounts, plus credit cards, CaixaBank could change the conditions but is obliged to inform holders two months in advance if those terms are more restrictive for the client, giving the holder time to cancel without penalisation if they do not agree.
If the conditions are better for the customer, they will be applied immediately.
Bankia debit cards can still be used until the new CaixaBank ones are activated, with customers due to receive their new cards in the post.
The Deposit Guarantee Fund covers up to €100,000 per bank per holder; if clients have savings totalling a higher amount, they are strongly advised to transfer the excess funds to another bank.
By disappearing, Bankia closes the door on more than a decade of scandals. Becoming a symbol for the economic crisis of the late 2000s, the institution has never been far from the headlines.
Its short history is tarnished by financial crimes, nationalisation, the imprisonment of first president and former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato – now facing 83 years for money laundering -, stock market irregularities, manipulated accounts, and huge losses suffered by shareholders.