The Real Deal Miami

Spanish bank sees opportunity in Florida collapse

January 28, 2010 01:25PM

Banco Sabadell, which recently purchased Miami-based Mellon United National Bank, sees a bright promise in the ruins of Florida’s shattered economy. Fernando Pérez-Hickman, managing director of Banco Sabadell America, said economic recovery in South Florida will be a time of growth and capturing market share for the Barcelona-based bank, Spain’s fourth largest. Florida’s capacity for rapid rebounds and growth, along with a large Latin population, makes it a strong cultural and business fit for Sabadell, Pérez-Hickman said. His employer is not the first Iberian import to Florida: Banco Popular Español bought Miami-based TotalBank in November 2007 for $300 million, and Miami banker Leonard Abess sold an 83 percent stake in City National Bancshares to savings bank Caja Madrid for $927 million in November 2008. [Miami Herald]