Banco Sabadell has announced that it will close 11% of its bank branches in 2017 in an effort to reduce costs and improve profit margins.

This year Sabadell closed 92 branches and has outlined its plan to close a further 250 branches this year. It aims to invest more in online banking in an effort to satisy increasing consumer demand.

Around 800 employees will be made redundant or will take early retirement.

Nearly all banks in Spain have been reducing the sizes of their workforce in recent years which has resulted in the closure of branches throughout Spain. Interest rates are at rock bottom and the domestic market is saturated with competition. Profitability has dropped to around 35% of what it was prior to the financial crisis.

The branch network in Spain was one of the most dense in Europe with one branch per 1.452 people in 2014. The European average is 2.000 customers per branch.

Banco Santander, the largest bank in Spain, cut 450 branches and 1.000 jobs in 2016. The second largest bank, BBVA, expects to reduce its workforce by 2.000 employees in 2016 and even more in 2017.