Unicaja will cut 15% of its workforce, more than a quarter of the branches, according to the union
- Unicaja to cut 1,513 jobs, 15.6% of the workforce, union says
- Lender also plans to cut 395 branches, union says
- Cost savings of 192 million euros could be higher, the bank said
MADRID, October 5 (Reuters) – Spain’s Unicaja (UNI.MC) seeks to cut more than 1,500 jobs, or around 15% of its workforce, and close more than a quarter of its branches as part of a savings plan following the acquisition of rival Liberbank, Spanish union Comisiones Obreras said on Tuesday.
Unicaja, which struck the 763 million euros ($ 885.69 million) deal with Liberbank at the end of July to create Spain’s fifth-largest lender in terms of assets, declined to comment.
Union CCOO said in a statement that the lender presented a plan that included 1,513 staff cuts, confirming an earlier Reuters report. The lender also planned to reduce the number of branches by 395, CCOO said.
CCOO, which is the main union in the financial sector, called the plans “inadmissible”.
The combined lender Unicaja has 9,700 employees in Spain and around 1,400 branches.
Under pressure from low interest rates and the fallout from the pandemic, European banks are taking various measures to cut costs, including pursuing mergers.
Unicaja’s cuts follow similar moves from other Spanish banks such as Caixabank (CABK.MC), BBVA (BBVA.MC) and Sabadell (SABE.MC). Read more
Spanish banks recently presented plans to cut more than 15,000 jobs as they try to adjust to the transition to online banking. Read more
Based on the results of previous negotiations, the actual number of job cuts may ultimately be lower.
A potential deal with the union is a key aspect of the Liberbank deal, which builds on annual savings of 192 million euros ($ 225 million) by 2023.
About 40 million euros of these cost synergies would come from a previously announced plan by Liberbank to reduce the number of jobs by 730, and 30 million euros from a stand-alone plan by Unicaja to cut 437 employees. .
Last week Unicaja CEO Manuel Menendez said there was a benefit for additional synergies from revenue. Read more
($ 1 = 0.8534 euros)
Reporting by Jesús Aguado Editing by Nathan Allen, David Goodman and Sonya Hepinstall
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