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The board of directors of CaixaBank have unanimously decided to move the registered office of Catalonia's largest bank to Valencia, given the potential declaration of independence following the 1st October referendum.

The group justified their decision due to the "priority" of protecting their clients, shareholders and employees and "to fully safeguard their legal and regulatory safety" facing "the current political and social situation in Catalonia".

The Spanish government has this Friday approved a decree to ease the moving of their headquarters for financial bodies. From now on, it is no longer necessary to submit such a move for the approval of a shareholders' meeting.

CaixaBank's move from Barcelona to Valencia will take place once the modification to the Law of Capital Firms is published in the Official State Gazette this Saturday.

The bank, headed by Jordi Gual, the largest in Catalonia, has made this decision the day after Banco Sabadell also decided to move its official head office out of Catalonia.

Gas Natural, a natural gas utility firm, has also decided to, temporarily, move its main office to Madrid from Barcelona.

The bank's official statement, in Spanish: