Unicaja and Liberbank carried out a new merger in the banking sector this year. Manuel Menéndez, the new CEO of Unicaja, who previously led Liberbank, has spoken about this at the XXVIII Meeting of the Financial Sector, organized by Deloitte and ABC, under the patronage of the Appraisal Society. Menéndez explained that the operation is proving very positive and that the objectives of ensuring that clients do not have complications and the integration of synergies are being met.
«In our case the problems have been minimal. It is an operation that we are going to give better returns to shareholders and that is also good for customers. The arrangement and integration of the equipment is complete. We came from a similar world and the understanding was simple“, has explained. In turn, it has announced that for the month of November, the fifth bank in Spain will have a new medium-term strategy after having constituted the execution committee.
Regarding future mergers in the banking sector, Menéndez has not wanted to ‘play’ the futurologist, but has acknowledged that there has been a “significant concentration” and that depending on the characteristics of the companies “it makes more sense or not.” “In our case it makes sense because going deeper we are two entities that complement each other and have similar business models.”
The second block of his speech has been focused on the new challenges of the new Unicaja. In this sense, Menéndez explained that both at the supply and demand level there are significant challenges. In demand for new customer behavior. «It is complex not only for the investment of technology but also because of the understanding of the client’s requirements ”, he blurted out.
On the supply side, he has focused the shot on the fact that the competition is very efficient, which means that, in the opinion of Unicaja, “we see prices that are not optimal.” “Either because they play to exclude other competitors or to maintain the client portfolio makes you face in the short term with prices that do not always cover the risk-return requirements. In order to face them, we think that tackling the merger has implicit synergy that will allow us to face risks better together than separately, ”he stated.
With regard to the economic situation, the CEO of Unicaja has said that the forecasts are “better than expected”, although he remains prudent. Thus, the delinquency levels are “Better than estimated”, while the moratoriums “have an expected behavior.” “We are not pessimistic.”
Finally, Menéndez has asked the market regulators to try to improve the attractiveness for investors. “The sector is not sustainable when capital turns its back on it. Without that balance, things will not work ”, he has sentenced.