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More branch closures at Caixa Geral as the pain continues

caixageral2Caixa Geral de Depósitos, owned by the people for the people, is to shut a further 75 branches by the end of June.

Caixa’s bank closure plan lists 77 sites due to axed, but no final decision has been made for two of them.

Under Paulo Macedo’s management, Caixa Geral de Depósitos has been shedding branches and employees as part of his strategy to return the troubled bank to profit after years of profligacy and poor decision making.

News of the branch closures was leaked to the Portuguese Communist Party in advance of the official announcement due on Friday.

Caixa Geral’s recapitalisation cost of €3.944 billion shocked taxpayers so soon after the BES and Banif collapses.

In February this year, Caixa Geral raised its account fees, or ‘converged’ them with the market, according to the government, to try and turn a profit.

Earlier in the year, the bank confirmed it had sold off the debt it was owed by the Vale de Lobo Group for €222.9 million.

The bank already had written off most of this disastrous loan to the Vale do Lobo business in a financial operation that forms a major part of Operation Marquês whose defendants include a former director of Caixa Geral, Armando Vara.

With recapitalisation, the cleaning out of irrecoverable debts, stiffing its own customers with much raised account fees and the current branch closure plan, costs and income are at last being attended to, however unpopular the process.

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