Spain’s BBVA and Sabadell end tie-up talks, TSB up for sale

MADRID (Reuters) – BBVA and Sabadell ended merger talks on Friday after they failed to agree on price, stalling a wave of Spanish bank tie-ups and putting Sabadell’s loss-making British lender TSB on the block.

FILE PHOTO: Spanish bank BBVA’s Chief Executive Onur Genc speaks during the annual results presentation at the company’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain, February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

The collapse piles pressure on Sabadell, which was seen as the weaker partner. The smaller Spanish bank said it would announce a new business plan, with a focus on its home market, in the first quarter of 2021.

European banks are struggling with ultra low interest rates and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing them to focus on cutting costs, either alone or through tie-ups.

Before entering formal talks with BBVA in mid-November, Sabadell was focused on an efficiency plan. It said it will now

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TSB owners weigh up latest sale of loss-making bank

The Spanish owners of TSB are considering putting the UK bank up for sale, in what could lead to the third major ownership shake-up for the loss-making lender in seven years.



a sign on the side of the street: Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Sabadell has asked Goldman Sachs to launch a review of TSB that could result in a sale of the entire bank, which it bought for £1.7bn in 2015. However, the Guardian understands Sabadell is open to other options including selling a partial stake, floating TSB on the stock exchange, or maintaining full ownership of the UK lender.



a sign on the side of the street: A TSB bank branch in London. The bank plans to cut 164 branches and 1,000 staff, leaving it with 290 locations and 6,000 employees.


© Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters
A TSB bank branch in London. The bank plans to cut 164 branches and 1,000 staff, leaving it with 290 locations and 6,000 employees.

The news emerged hours after Sabadell called off merger talks with its larger Spanish rival BBVA, after the two banks failed to agree on a price.

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