Spain’s Bankia slashes fund range

Bankia, the quoted parent group of seven of Spain’s cajas, has completed the rationalisation of its retail fund range under the Bankia Fondos brand. It has reduced the number of funds from over 197 to just 51.

Bankia Fondos incorporates three fund operations previously run by Caja Madrid, Bancaja and Caixa Laietana. The new range of 51 funds covers all asset classes, including Absolute Return funds.

The fixed income range includes short and long duration funds as well as target return strategies. Active and passive equity funds cover all major markets and geographic regions. Popular guaranteed funds which offer fixed maturity and payouts are not included in the rationalisation process.

Overlapping funds have been merged or eliminated, as have under-sized funds. Bankia Fondos has also removed investment strategies that no longer suit investor needs. According to Rocío Eguiraun Montes, CEO of Bankia Fondos, the simplified line up will ‘facilitate the work of branches and a better understanding by customers of the product that we are offering’.

The new Bankia Fondos range will be sold via the networks of Caja Madrid, Bancaja, Caixa Laietana, Caja Insular de Canarias, Caja Ávila, Caja Segovia and Caja Rioja.

Separately, Bankia Banca Privada will operate its own fund management arm. It has rebranded Bancaja’s former Arcalia brand as Bankia Privada Gestión.

At launch in May, Bankia Fondos claimed to be Spain’s fourth largest fund manager with 350,000 clients and assets of €7.4 billion. Figures from Inverco, the fund industry association, show Bankia’s assets under management fell to €6.34 billion in October this year. Client numbers have also dipped to around 315,000.

According to the asset manager’s website, eight out of its ten best selling funds have been guaranteed funds this year. Bankia Garantizado Rentas 1 has attracted inflows over €550 million. Its most popular Absolute Return fund was Bankia Evolution VaR 6 which gathered new assets of just under €22 million.

The rationalisation of Bankia’s fund range is a result of the need to strengthen Spain’s banking sector. Weak banks and mutual cajas are being forced into full mergers or into Sistema Institucional de Protección ‘cold fusions’ which allow greater operational independence of each member caja.

Earlier this year, Banca Cívica assumed control of former fund management arm of Caja Navarra. The renamed Banca Cívica Gestión de Activos has assets of €1.6 billion, making it Spain’s 18th largest fund group. It sells its products via the Caja Navarra, Cajasol, Caja de Burgos and CajaCanarias branch networks.

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