Citi points to Santander, CaixaBank, Sabadell and Bankinter as buyers, and the US bank expects up to five mergers.

Bank concentration in Spain has not ended. The investment bank Citi believes that 20% of the Spanish financial system can still be subject to merger in the coming years.

Without citing any entity, Citi aims primarily at small and medium-sized banks. Liberbank and Unicaja are usually two of the entities that enter the pools of investment banking.

In a report recently sent to its clients, the US bank indicates that there are financial entities with between 400 and 500 billion euros in assets that can end up leading mergers until 2020. In this way, the financial sector in Spain will have the highest levels of concentration in Europe that year. Five entities (Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Bankia and Sabadell) now account for 70% of the market, according to the Bank of Spain. According to Citi, these five banks would have between 80% and 85% of the total assets in the sector in two years. In 2006, the five largest entities concentrated 40% of the market.

Reconversion
The Spanish financial sector has undergone an unprecedented conversion since the outbreak of the crisis in 2008. The genuine model of public savings accounts has practically disappeared. Only Caixa Pollença and Caixa Ontinyent have escaped their transformation into banks.

The Spanish banking map has been reduced by almost half in the last nine years. In fact, the financial sector in Spain has emerged as the second most reduced by number of entities among the main countries of the European Union, according to Citi. Only Greece, which put the survival of the euro at risk, has further consolidated its financial sector, above 30%.