A major bank in Spain has said it is moving its headquarters out of Catalonia to guard against the risk posed by the declaration of independence by the region’s political leaders, leaving the way open to another major lender to decide fate.
According to Banco Sabadell, who spoke lateÂ Thursday, its board has resolved to move the company’s legal home fromÂ BarcelonaÂ to Alicante in southeastern Spain “in order to protect the interests of our customers, shareholders, and employees.”
Another financial institution, Caixabank (CAIXY) is also considering the option of leaving the Spanish capital too
The Catalonia’s government is on its way out of Spain after it made a unilateral declaration of independence earlyÂ Monday. This is sequel to a disputed and confused referendum which took placeÂ on SundayÂ which allowed two million Catalans vote to break away.
Spain could be pushed into a political crisis and make way for a huge legal uncertainty for banks and businesses.
Bank shares were not spared too as the value droppedÂ on WednesdayÂ while investors realized the risks. However, share values were restoredÂ ThursdayÂ while reports of the exigency plans surfaced.
According to Banco Sabadell, the move of its decision to move its headquarters to Alicante would not include the transfer of any employees. The company, which is 139 years old “has corporate and operational centers in different cities in Spain and United Kingdom”.
Caixabank left out reports about it leaving Barcelona but told CNN that “the necessary decisions will be taken, in due course.”
The bank maintained that its main aim is “the objective of protecting the interests of our customers, shareholders, and employees at all times.”
In the event of the declaration of independence byÂ Catalonia, the Spanish government may fight back by leveling direct rule in the region, an action that could intensify tensions and allows for more chaosÂ capable of forcing investors out, as well as trouble savers and negatively affecting businesses.