In a period of crisis that began in 1974, the mutual support of the cooperatives and Caja Laboral’s generous attitude was a key factor in the Group’s Development.
There were 64 branches and 464 shareholders in 1975, and new branches were continually being opened.
In 1976, J.M. Arizmendiarrieta passed away leaving behind him a seed that would live on to the present time.
Throughout 1979 a ministerial order extended Caja Laboral’s capacity to open “Emigrant” and “Home”, savings accounts, granting it powers regarding Foreign operations, given the importance of the Cooperatives’ foreign business.
In the contribution of the Social Projects Fund there was significant support for culture, such as the promotion of the Basque Language or the reports of the Basque Economy.
In 1980, the first two Caja Laboral cash machines were installed and the first Credit Cards were commercialised.
The images of the Basque Country, taken by the Eguiguren brothers provide a face to the Bank’s values in this period.
Beyena soon started to show signs of needing important injections of capital over and over again.
The great involvement of the workers in the villages meant that people rated the savings bank very highly.
They discovered new ways of increasing the customer base. Caja Rural appeared wherever there was any agricultural-fisheries activity.
The seventies was the decade of rural expansion for the savings bank. Year after year they would open new branches in the most important agricultural-stockbreeding towns in Bizkaia.
In April 1976, it purchased the historic Hotel Almirante building. And on 6th February 1980 it moved its headquarters to this building.
The workers had to start from the bottom, getting to know the basics of the trade.