CaixaBank and Bankia merger deal. | Albert Gea

CaixaBank and Bankia have agreed to merge, creating the biggest bank in Spain with assets worth more than 600 billion euros.

The boards of directors of CaixaBank and Bankia agreed to the deal in principle on Thursday and insiders say Shareholders will back the merger.

Discreet negotiations between the two banks began earlier this year but the exact details of the merger have not been revealed.

One priority was to make sure that La Caixa Foundation’s 40% share in CaixaBank didn’t fall below 30% in order to safeguard the Charity’s tax benefits.

The new bank will have around 6,600 branches and 51,000 employees, 35,600 from CaixaBank and 16,000 from Bankia.

Gonzalo Gortázar, CaixaBank CEO & José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, Bankia President.