Bank of Spain to close 31 branch offices by 2004

SPAIN - The Bank of Spain has decided to close 31 of its offices in as many provinces by December 2004.

At present the Spanish central bank has 54 branch offices. The aim is to have one branch office for each autonomous region, with the exception of certain regions which will have two.

The closures have been planned for years, reports El Pais, but they were suspended ahead of the arrival of the euro. The closures will affect some 340 workers who, according to the Bank of Spain, will take early