Spain's third largest bank has said it will move its headquarters from Catalonia amid increasing tensions in the region regarding an independence referendum.
CaixaBank has made the decision following a decree from the government in Madrid that has made it easier for companies to move their bases out of the area.
The Barcelona-based lender will now relocate to Valencia and is following in the footsteps of Sadabell, a bank which has moved out of Catalonia and relocated to Alicante.
CaixaBank has approximately 25 per cent of its global business based in Catalonia and the move is not expected to affect any of the employees.
It is a major blow for the region, as the bank was seen as a major sponsor of the social and cultural programmes in the region.
Spain's main stock index is down slightly, with Catalan banks leading losses amid uncertainty over the region's independence bid.
The Ibex 35 index lost 0.9 per cent to 10.126 points in Madrid by midday on 6 October.
The biggest fallers were Banco Sabadell, the country's fifth-largest bank by assets, and Caixabank, Spain's third-largest.
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