Spain’s largest retail bank, CaixaBank, has announced one of the largest compulsary redundancy plans in the country’s recent corporate history.
The plans come following the recent merger with Bankia, involves shedding 8,291 jobs of the present combined 44,000 workforce.
In addition the newly merged bank will close over 1,500 branches representing 27% of the total as more and more customers switch to virtual offices and internet banking.
It is believed that branches in Madrid will bear the brunt of closures and job losses.
Analysts were expecting a restructering of the new bank, as many positions were in effect duplicated.
Since 2008 the number of retail banking branches in Spain has fallen by 51%, but is still above the European average, and analysts beleive further consolidation in the banking sector is due.
As many as 15,000 other banking jobs could be lost this year on top of the already 100,000 ones lost since 2008.
Earlier this year the proposed merger between BBVA with Banco Sabadell fell through.
The redundanies are the latest in a stream of others made by leading Spanish companies including Telefónica and Seat at a time when the goverment is trying to contain a surge of job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press statement, the company said that the job restructering plan ( known as a ERE) “is based on production and organisational grounds, given the overlaps and synergies derived from the merger and the current market circumstances.”
The press statement explained that the criteria to be applied for the redundancy plan is a “preferred” voluntary route as well as based on merit.
The Caixabank is in line with most other Spanish banks, to post a profit this year.
The trade unions are hoping to bring the number of redundancies down and at last years AGM warned of action if the cuts are not negotiated.
CaixaBank said that experienced employees over 50 would not be pressured to taking redundancy packages in order to avoid losing the most experienced employees and creating a “generational imbalance.”