Portuguese banks close 100 branches

 In News

Portugal’s high-street banks are to close up to 100 branches by the summer. Its largest bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) alone will close 70. Novo Banco will close 35 this month. Paulo Macedo, CEO of CGD announced the measure saying “more banks will close their doors and these closures will be very rapid”. The bank had already closed 64 branches last year. The rise of online banking and restructuring are to blame.


After closing 64 branches last year, Caixa Geral de Depósitos will close 70 to 80 more by the summer according to CGD Companies Employees Union (STEC). In less than three months 100 branches, including 35 from Novo Banco, will disappear.

The decision follows commitments made by CGD with Brussels to restructure the bank in return for a €5Bn capital injection.

“There’s a deadline of just three months and we still don’t know which branches are to be closed and where. We don’t know where the accounts from these branches will be transferred and which staff will go or be moved to other branches” says the President of STEC, João Lopes.

Last year CGD branch closures caused widespread discontent among people living in various regions of the country, particularly in Almeida, central Portugal.

Regarding the geographical areas affected by the closures, Paulo Macedo said that the criteria for closing branches would be the non-profit making ones and those close to other Caixa banks.

“The restructuring plan has to be applied because this was what was defined with the European Commission but the speed of closures can be discussed” said João Lopes.

Novo Banco is also accelerating branch closures. The bank led by António Ramalho will close 35 branches by the summer and up to 73 by the end of the year.