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"la Caixa" or Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona is currently Catalonia’s leading savings bank and its third financial institution, with a network of over 5,500 branches, more than 8,100 ATMs, a workforce in excess of 27,000 and more than 10.7 million customers. [1]

“la Caixa”
Type Bank
Headquarters Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Key people Isidre Fainé Casas (President)
Joan Maria Nin (Chief Executive Officer)
Industry Financial services and Insurance
Products Consumer Banking
Corporate Banking
Net income 2.488 Billion (2007)
Employees 27,740 (September 2008)
Website www.lacaixa.com

Contents

History

Today's "la Caixa" is the result of the July 27, 1990 merger between the Caixa de Pensions per a la Vellesa i d'Estalvis de Catalunya i Balears, founded in 1904, and the Caixa d'Estalvis i Mont de Pietat de Barcelona, founded in 1844. From the beginning, ”la Caixa” focused on savings for families and offering its customers security in their old age, when this type of social provision did not yet exist in Catalonia. Owing to its origins, it is a financial institution, of a non-profit making, charitable and social nature, with a private board of trustees, independent of any other company or institution. [1]

The ”la Caixa” Group manages a total bank turnover of over 411,522 million Euro (September 2008), with total customer resources in excess of 238,404 million Euro. [1]

Similarly, the Group has a portfolio of industrial interests in companies mainly in the infrastructure, energy and communications sectors. [1] In November 2006, the “la Caixa” Board of Directors approved the listing on the stock market of its portfolio of holdings through the Criteria CaixaCorp company, which came into effect on 10 October 2007.[2]

29 January 2008 saw the inclusion of Criteria CaixaCorp in the IBEX 35.[3]

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In the late 1970s, "la Caixa" asked Landor & Associates to create a corporate identity that would be easily identifiable and that customers could make their own. From the proposals submitted, it was decided to commission the Catalan artist Joan Miró to create a tapestry, from which an emblematic element could be isolated. In 1980, the star and its colours became the symbol of the institution.[4] The original tapestry is on display in the foyer of the "la Caixa" head office in Barcelona.

Corporate social responsibility

"la Caixa" Head Office in Barcelona, Catalonia

Due to its status, the bank controls the largest charitable foundation in Spain, and one of the largest in the world. This foundation makes major investments in such public welfare causes as care of the aged and infants, curing Alzheimer's, technologically advanced classrooms, old-age centers, and the like.

Through the Social Programme, “la Caixa” funds social, environmental and scientific, cultural and research programmes. The ”la Caixa” Foundation is Spain’s leading private foundation, the second in Europe and the fifth in the world in terms of budgetary volume (550 million Euro for 2008), according to data from the European Foundation.[5]

In 2007, “la Caixa” Social Programme undertook specific programmes to combat poverty and social exclusion (the CaixaProinfancia programme and the Incorpora employment integration programme) [6] and the creation of MicroBank, a social bank whose primary activity is to award social and financial micro-credits to people who are at risk from social or financial exclusion and to groups with limited resources.[7] It also promotes access to rental apartments to sectors of the population who have difficulty in accessing the property market and care programmes focused on dependency, for individuals in advanced stages of illness, child vaccination and international cooperation.

“la Caixa” Social Programme also provides resources for education and research programmes, environmental protection and the dissemination of culture through its centres, such as the recently opened CaixaForum Madrid.

In 2005, the bank received the Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya for these efforts.

Branch network and remote banking

At the end of 2007, “la Caixa” had 5,480 branches, of which 5,468 are located throughout Spain and 2 operating abroad (Warsaw, Poland and Bucharest, Romania), and 10 representative offices in Germany, Belgium, China, France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and the United Kingdom. “la Caixa” also has over 8,011 ATMs, through which more than 500 million transactions were made in 2007. All ATMs are fitted with keyboards adapted to the Braille system and allow the letter size used on the screens to be increased. Of these, 2,491 include a voice system for people with visual impairment.[8]

“la Caixa” also has an online banking service (Línea Abierta) which offers more than 700 consultations and transactions (including account management, transfers, direct debits, arranging deposits, loans and mortgages, pension plans, investment funds) and now has over 2.5 million operating customers a month (September 2008), both private individuals and companies. “la Caixa’s” online bank is the leading one of its kind in Europe according to the AQMetrix (Private Banking Division - autumn 2008). The Línea Abierta Móvil service allows customers to consult statements and account and credit card movements, make transfers, consult listings, buy and sell securities and receive notifications via SMS.[9]

In addition, ServiCaixa leads the Spanish market in sales of cinema, theatre, music and sports events tickets via e-channels (7.7 million advance sales in 2007).[10]

External links

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa” (2007). "Welcome to “la Caixa”". http://portal.lacaixa.es/infocorporativa/bienvenido_en.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  2. ^ Criteria CaixaCorp (2007). "Significant Milestones". http://www.criteria.com/infocorporativa/principaleshitos_es.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  3. ^ Criteria CaixaCorp (29). "Criteria CaixaCorp joins the IBEX-35 index". http://www.criteria.com/general/noticiai_en.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  4. ^ Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa” (2007). "Press Room, History of “la Caixa”". http://press.lacaixa.es/view_manager.html?root=660,663. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  5. ^ Obra Social Fundación “la Caixa” (2005). "Identidad y compromiso" (in Spanish). http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/balancesocial/identidadycompromiso_es.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  6. ^ Obra Social Fundación “la Caixa” (2005). "Informe Anual 2007" (in Spanish). pp. 15. http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/balancesocial/informeanual07_es.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  7. ^ MicroBank, Banco Social de “la Caixa” (2007) (2007). "Información corporativa" (in Spanish). pp. 15. http://www.microbanklacaixa.es/general/informacioncorporativa_es.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  8. ^ Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa” (2007). "Descubre Linea Abierta" (in Spanish). http://portal.lacaixa.es/bancadistancia/lineaabiertaV2_es.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  9. ^ Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa” (2007). "“la Caixa” Group Annual Report 2007" (in Spanish). http://press.lacaixa.es/view_manager.html?root=669,670. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  
  10. ^ Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa” (2007). "Most relevant Data" (in Spanish). http://portal.lacaixa.es/infocorporativa/datosbasicos_en.html. Retrieved 14 January 2009.  

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