Three Spanish savings banks mull merger
Three Spanish savings banks -- Ibercaja, Liberbank and Caja3 -- said Tuesday they are studying a possible merger.
In separate statements, the three banks said their boards would meet later on Tuesday to vote on the merger, which would come as the government is forcing lenders to increase the amount of money they must have to cover bad loans.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government this month instructed Spain's banks to set aside an extra 30 billion euros in 2012 in case property-related loans go bad, on top of 53.8 billion euros required under reforms enacted in February.
Ibercaja and Caja3 had said in February that they were planning to merge.
Caja3 emerged from the merger of three regional savings banks while Liberbank was created from the merger of four regional savings banks.
© 2012 AFP