BBVA calls off First-e Internet bank merger

BBVA calls off First-e Internet bank merger

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, the second largest bank in Spain, has scrapped plans to merge its online operation Uno-e, with Ireland-based Internet-only bank First-e.

The agreement, aimed at creating a pan-European financial services supermarket, was first struck more than a year ago. It has been hit by technology integration problems and declining confidence in the Internet-only banking model.

Uno-e is a joint venture between BBVA and Internet service provider Terra Lycos, and has recruited 80,000 customers since its launch 13 months ago. First-e Group is controlled by Internet incubator Enba and runs online operations in the UK and Germany.

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