The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, Banco Santander’s proposed acquisition of Banco Popular Español, S.A. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns in the European Economic Area.
Banco Santander and Banco Popular universal banks, providing commercial, retail investment and wholesale banking services as well as insurance services in Spain and Portugal. The Commission investigated the transaction’s impact on the markets for retail and corporate banking, leasing, factoring and the provision of ATM services in the Portuguese and Spanish national and regional markets.
Its investigation concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. The parties’ combined market shares are generally limited (below 25%) and strong competitors will remain in all affected markets.
Today’s decision is the final step by the Commission clearing the acquisition. It follows the Commission’s approval on 7 June 2017 of the resolution scheme of Banco Popular under EU bank recovery and resolution rules, which was based on a proposed resolution scheme by the Single Resolution Board (SRB).