Banks Sabadell and Caixa among first to respond amid fears about access to rest of Spain and EU if independence is declared

The prospect of Catalonia declaring independence from Spain has sparked fears that major businesses will have to relocate away from the region to guarantee continued access to the domestic Spanish market and the wider European Union.

Catalonia-based banks Sabadell and CaixaBank are expected to be among the first to respond. Their share prices have fallen sharply this week amid mounting concern about how they would operate if no longer based in Spain or the EU.

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