Spain's banking giant Banco Santander said on Monday it planned to absorb its Spanish offshoots Banesto and Banif, closing 700 branches and saving an estimated 420 million euros a year as of 2015.
Santander said in a release that the process would be completed by 2013, and Santander would boast 4,000 branches under the same name in Spain.
Santander had acquired 89.74 percent of Banesto in 1994, which was established in 1902, and is one of the oldest financial institutions in Spain.
Santander said its merger with Banesto and with its fully owned Banif unit would lead to the closure of about 700 of the three banks' 4,664 branches.
But the group said it would lower the number of jobs gradually without "abrupt cuts".
The restructuring would save about 10 percent in costs, or 420 million euros in the third year, it said. Revenues were expected to rise by 100 million euros in the same timeframe.
The bank posted net profits of 1.8 billion euros in January-September 2012, 66 percent lower than the same period last year.