- By: Vanessa Fiolka
Staff writer—latest industry insights
The Office of Embassy and Consulate Programme has granted IBE Bank Eimsbüttel a market authority permit to establish 20 branches in Generalitat Catalunya (Principality of Catalonia) next year. The move comes as part of the institutional bank’s gambit to work with big corporate, institutional and government organisations across the principality, marking IBE’s first market foothold outside Yohannes. Catalonian Foreign Minister Carles Borges approved the agreement after a comprehensive meeting with Catalonian monetary authority representatives yesterday.
According to the Parliament of Catalonia’s latest official news updates, IBE will operate 10 branches across Catalonia Proper. Six banking centres will serve Barcelona and two regional branches will be built in Girona and Menorca, while the Overseas Territories will receive 10 ATM home centres. IBE received the go-ahead to join the Economic Palace’s settlement cash programme in September, allowing the bank to register itself as a Realm (Federal) Bank. Under section 85 of the Central and Realm Bank Amendment Act 2004, only a bank deemed to be sufficiently large to qualify under the Bank of Yohannes’ deposit protection regime may apply to become a registered bank under the settlement cash schemes. Both IBE Bank Eimsbüttel and the Office of Embassy and Consulate Programme’s social media spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
As of this update, IBE has not filed a building consent application with the provincial authority of Barcelona yet, a prerequisite to establish a physical bank branch in Catalonia’s largest city.
“The IBE Bank Eimsbüttel Board of Directors is aiming to build new partnerships with corporate, government and institutional clients in Catalonia Proper and form an alliance with local relationship managers and product specialists. That said, I’m doubtful that you’re going to see IBE succeeding across Catalonia Proper next year—they will need at least three years to gain a better understanding of the new market, not one.”
“If IBE is genuinely looking to establish a firm foothold in Catalonia, they should wait and not try to do too many things at once next year. Participation under the settlement cash schemes will come at a cost to the bank next year—frankly, I still consider IBE a regional bank, not federal.”
Mr Mannschatz said the Board did not include IBE’s international expansion and market entry strategy in its annual report to shareholders in 2017.
IBE Bank Eimsbüttel opened its doors in at least 18 locations in East Lindblum last year, with another batch of 57 full-service branches planned for construction in the Kingdom of Alexandria.
The bank estimated it would hire up to 700 additional front-end staff in Yohannes and 120 locally recruited employees in Catalonia by the end of next year.
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