Building through selling

A massive property sell-off has been running through the banking industry in recent months, with HSBC, Santander and BBVA all selling off their main offices. What is driving the trend? Gareth Gore reports


It came as quite a surprise to Spanish dealers when Banco Santander, one of Europe's biggest investment banks, announced in June that it was to sell its custom-made headquarters - along with 1,200 of its nationwide branches - in the biggest property sale ever seen in Spain. The EUR4 billion transaction would be used to raise capital for the bank's offer, along with Royal Bank of Scotland and Fortis, for the Dutch bank ABN Amro.

Forty minutes southwest of Madrid, Santander City announces itself

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