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Almost seven years after heading south in the midst of the Catalan independence process, CaixaBank will not return its headquarters to Catalonia. Despite the political noise made in recent months, the president of the Catalan-founded financial institution closed the controversy this Friday during the presentation of the company's 2023 results. "When the merger between CaixaBank and Bankia took place, both already had their headquarters in València and increased their presence in markets such as València and Madrid. Thus, in the first board meeting after the merger, we reflected and came to the conclusion that the headquarters would remain in València. We believed it was the best for the depositors and the shareholders. We said then that the intention was to be permanent, and that has not changed. We continue to think the same."

That's how executive chairman José Ignacio Goirigolzarri expressed himself in the results presentation, which was itself held in València. The bank declared a profit of more than 4.8 billion euros in 2023, a 54% increase on the previous year. The head of the executive reiterated that the decision on corporate headquarters "is a subject that has been closely analyzed by the board of directors of this house" and added, we are very comfortable in València and we believe that it is the best place for CaixaBank. At the same time, he said that the bank thinks that no other place "meets the conditions of origin that València has".

The CEO of Sabadell, the other major Catalonia bank which changed its business address in October 2017, was asked the same question on Thursday, during the presentation of its own results. The bank, which has achieved the best results in its history by exceeding 1.3 billion euros in profit in 2023, moderated its tone compared to other occasions and did not completely close the door to returning its headquarters to Catalonia, which caused a level of confusion.

Sabadell, like CaixaBank, left Barcelona in 2017, as two of the largest symbols of a process of business flight from Catalonia that the Spanish government itself facilitated. Whereas CaixaBank ended up in València, Sabadell set up its registered office in Alacant. Until now the bank has been very clear on its permanence in its new home when asked. Especially the chairman, Josep Oliu, who has denied in every meeting that a return to Barcelona was on the table.

However, this week, César González-Bueno was not so clear. "There have been many conversations - not ours, externally - and it's a topic that has generated debate. But there is no comment at this time." The CEO also explained that Sabadell is a bank with a national and international presence, that although it is not the size of Santander or BBVA, it does have a very important presence in the United Kingdom. Likewise, González-Bueno defended the institution's territorial presence and emphasized the importance of having its headquarters in Alacant, although its business is developed from Alacant, Madrid or Catalonia, regardless, he explained.

Sabadell's number two also commented that they don't have a "contingency plan in case things get ugly, because they don't think it's necessary", after being asked about it.