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European Commission approves purchase of Banco Popular by Santander

The European Commission has approved the Single Resolution Board's (SRB) proposed resolution scheme for Spanish bank Banco Popular Espagñol.08 Jun 2017

The scheme involves the sale of all shares and capital instruments of the Spanish bank to Banco Santander for €1, the SRB said.

The sale was approved under the EU's bank recovery and resolution rules that were put together in the post-crisis Banking Union framework, the Commission said.

Banco Popular customers will continue to be serviced and depositors will have uninterrupted access to the full amount of their deposits. No state aid or aid from the single resolution fund has been provided and the sale is subject to normal merger and regulatory review, the Commission said.

The Commission agreed to the scheme because it met all of the conditions for resolution, it said: the bank was failing, there were no private sector solutions outside of resolution, and no supervisory actions could have prevented its failure, it said.

Resolution by the sale of the business is allowed in the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive under the EU bank resolution framework, and was the best course of action in the circumstances to ensure the continuity of the bank's functions, the Commission said.

Elke König, chair of the Single Resolution Board said: "The decision taken today safeguards the depositors and critical functions of Banco Popular. This shows that the tools given to resolution authorities after the crisis are effective to protect taxpayers’ money from bailing out banks."