Spain's biggest lender set to close branches

Santander is set to buy out minority investors in its Banco Espanol de Credito with an offer of 263 million euros.

Spain’s biggest lender will also close 700 branches in the country to cut costs. Santander which already owns almost 90 percent of Banesto will offer investors the equivalent of almost 4 euros a share.

Santander said by absorbing the Banesto network it will yield 520 million euros of savings by the third year and pointed out the banking industry’s branch network will shrink to 35,000 by the end of 2015 a 35 percent decline from 2008.