MADRID, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Spain’s Unicaja, which is in negotiations with smaller rival Liberbank to create the country’s fifth biggest bank in terms of total assets, said on Tuesday its third-quarter net profit fell 63% against the same period a year ago after it booked 63 million euros ($73.4 million) in COVID-19 provisions.
The lender booked a net profit of 16 million euros in the July to September period. Analysts polled by Reuters expected a net profit of 15 million euros.
European banks are under growing pressure to join forces to deal with rising bad debts and record-low interest rates as they battle the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic. ($1 = 0.8451 euros) (Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Inti Landauro)