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Oct 20, 3:52 AM EDT

Pro-independence Catalans make cash withdrawals in protest

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AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Bank customers in Catalonia are withdrawing money from financial institutions that have moved their official headquarters to other locations in Spain amid a political crisis over the region's independence bid.

Pro-independence umbrella group Crida Democracia called on consumers late Thursday to put pressure on banks that made the decision. Dozens of people were lining up Friday at a CaixaBank branch in downtown Barcelona, most of them withdrawing 150 or 160 euros from ATMs.

The amounts were the closest to 155, in reference to the Spanish constitutional article with which the central government plans to revoke some of Catalonia's autonomous powers to prevent regional politicians from pushing ahead with secession.

CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell, the largest Catalan lenders, are among financial institutions that have moved their official registration out of Catalonia.

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