PRESS RELEASE
21/06/2002

Dexia and Banco Popular join forces to set up a private bank in Spain and strengthen their presence in the Spanish market

In order to strengthen their presence in the Spanish private banking and asset management market, Dexia, through Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Dexia BIL), and the Spanish bank, Banco Popular Español (BPE):

  • are increasing their holdings in the capital of Fortior Holding - Iberagentes respectively to 40% and 60%
  • and created Iberagentes Popular Banca Privada (IPBP), a private, wealth-management bank, fully owned by the Fortior Holding group.

This operation follows the sale by the two founders of Fortior Holding of their respective 25% interest. Dexia BIL and Banco Popular each previously owned 25% of the capital of Fortior Holding.

The bank has received the necessary authorisations to start business.

The newly founded private bank will market its own products, as well as investment products of the Dexia Group to wealthy clients in Spain.

IPBP will start business with a staff of 180 and 10 branches in Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona, Pamplona, Seville, Bilbao, Gandia and Tenerife. Six new branches are planned so as to achieve optimum geographical coverage in Spain. Product distribution will be based on an integrated multi-channel approach, structured around the branch network, a call centre, internet and independent advisers.

This transaction will enable the Dexia Group to develop its European private banking and asset management strategy in partnership with a major local player. At 31 December 2001, Dexia managed an asset volume of EUR 84.0 billion, with private banking client assets of 38.2 billion.

Contacts :
Dexia BIL - Guy Bertemes / tel.: (+352) 4590 3879
Banco Popular - Fernando de Soto / tel. : (+34) 91 520 72 32