It is an unheard of phenomenon in the Valencian Community. Not even when the Valencian financial system collapsed, with the disappearance of Bancaja, the CAM and the Banc de Valencia, after the bursting of the real estate bubble and due to the disastrous management of its managers, was there not a similar reaction Because yesterday the Generalitat Valenciana, employers’ associations, unions and even the Valencian Association of Consumers and Users, Avacu, openly showed their rejection of BBVA’s hostile takeover of Banco Sabadell. An entity that is the leading bank in terms of market share in Alicante, since it bought the old CAM in 2012: 10% of the companies and 20% of the private clients of the entity are in this province. Thanks to the intense implementation that CAM had in Alicante, Sabadell maintains an extraordinary market share in the province, 40% in the case of individuals and 25% among companies. Another fact: Sabadell has 1,160 workers in this autonomy, it has 211 offices, of which 132 are in the province of Alicante, 61 in Valencia and 17 in Castellón.

Carlos Mazón was the most adamant about the BBVA operation. The Valencian president reiterated that he was “totally against” the tender and defended that “we are not only here to defend the involvement of financial institutions in our territory, which is fundamental and we are doing it. We are also there to defend the jobs of hundreds and hundreds of offices, which are from the old CAM business, which have served people daily and have been addressed by their first and last names”.

He affirmed that “we must fight for options, so that there is no banking concentration that prevents the possibility of choosing properly and of having choices for consumers”. And he called on small shareholders to mobilize against the takeover. “Almost 20% of Sabadell’s shareholders are small shareholders who come from the CAM, people who had their shareholdings, participating accounts, who have up to 20% and who may currently be subject to the decisions of some large funds , holders”. “I publicly ask them to also fight for the rights of our land, for their own security, for their own stability.” He also asked that the PSPV and Compromís position themselves against the operation.

The leaders of the Valencian employers’ organizations have shown themselves in the same line. Salvador Navarro, president of the Business Confederation of the Valencian Community, warned of the “danger” of a takeover that could put an end to Sabadell’s presence in the Valencian Community and reduce competition. “We are concerned about the strong concentration and what this means for credit.” Navarro applauded that Sabadell rejected the merger before the takeover was formalized. Avacu, for his part, argued that the disappearance of Sabadell would be a detriment to Valencians “because it would aggravate the problems caused to consumers by the closure of offices, and this hostile bid, if it ended up going ahead, could generate another closure massive in those communities with more presence of the two entities, as is the case of ours”. He added that another of the effects would be that the supply of financial products “would be reduced and this would generate less competition and, therefore, worse conditions in the banking products and services that consumers receive”.

Sabadell moved its headquarters to Alicante in 2017 due to the process. The possibility of it disappearing has recalled the moment in which a regional financial system was dynamited that had the third and fifth banks in Spain, in addition to the Bank of Valencia, the jewel in the crown. The activity of Sabadell in Alicante, and of CaixaBank in Valencia, cushioned this orphaned situation of Valencian entities. In fact, its imbrication in society goes beyond the commercial aspect. This is why the alarms have now sounded and the Valencian Community rejects, in full, BBVA’s takeover bid in Sabadell.