Spain’s third savings bank and General Electric sign deal

Spanish bank Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM) has signed a joint venture deal with US General Electric Consumer Finance worth 468 million Euros.

The joint-venture is called CAMGE Financiera and centers around consumer finance. It is expected to absorb the CAM’s currenty consumer finance portfolio worth 1.3 billion euros, including the issue of 630,000 credit cards.

CAMGE Financiera aims to become the leader in Spain’s consumer finance in the medium term, by achieving a yearly growth of 20 percent. The new company will initially focus on personal loans and the credit-card business and may later move on to offering car and mortgage loans.

The chairman of General Electric España, Mario Armero, said on Monday that the deal represented the consolidation of GE’s “focus on the Spanish market as the center for financial business in the south of Europe,” he said. The general manager of CAM, Roberto Lopez, said that Spain’s thrid savings bank had found the right partner in terms of strength and experience “to achieve leadership of the consumer finance market in Spain.

GE hopes that the knowledge and international experience of GE Consumer Finance combined with the “sales clout” of the 940 branches will give the formula needed to become leader of the Spanish market. The department store chain El Corte Inglés currently leads the consumer finance market in Spain, followed by Banco Cetelem and then Santander Consumer Finance.

More about Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo and Spanish banks.
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