The Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa”, is the result of the merger, in 1990, of the Caja de Pensiones, founded in 1904, and the Caja de Barcelona, founded in 1844. Since its beginnings, “la Caixa” was primarily dedicated to family saving and to offer all its clients an insurance for old age, when this type of welfare service still did not exist in Spain. Thus, since its origins, “la Caixa” has been characterised by a strong social commitment and a vocation to work in favour of the general interest, both through its financial activity and its Welfare Projects, which finance and maintain activities of a social, cultural and scientific nature. This vocation to serve has been maintained and consolidated throughout this period. Thus “la Caixa” is currently the leading savings bank in Spain and the third largest financial entity in the country. With a large network of more than 5,300 offices, almost 8,000 automatic cashpoint machines, a staff of more than 27,000 employees and more than 10,5 million clients, â€la Caixaâ€ has positioned itself as a leading entity and referent within the Spanish financial sector. The activity of the “la Caixa” Group is focused on a model of universal banking based on the strategy of multi-channel operations that enables it to efficiently combine the use of cutting-edge technologies and qualifications of the employees to provide the best and most complete service to the greatest number of clients. The “la Caixa” Group operated a total turnover of banking business of more than 415,000 million euros, on 31 December 2009, with total resources of clients of more than 231,000 million euros. With the aim of diversifying income and with the desire to take part in the development of companies that offer basic services to society, for many years now “la Caixa” has backed a strategy of investing in company holdings. The “la Caixa” Group currently has a large portfolio of industrial holdings in companies involved in the infrastructures, energy and communications sectors, among others, , through Criteria CaixaCorp.
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