Spain’s Sabadell bank looks to slash 1,900 jobs and close 250 branches

Spain's Sabadell bank looks to slash 1,900 jobs and close 250 branches
Banco Sabadell saw its net profit tumble in 2020 by 99.7 percent over previous year. Photo: Jose Jordán/AFP
Spain's fifth-largest bank, Banco Sabadell, wants to cut 1,900 jobs and close 250 branches across the country as part of a cost-cutting plan, a union and the lender said Thursday.

The restructuring plan comes after the bank slashed 1,800 staff in Spain late last year, part of a wave of job cuts in the sector in recent years in the country.

Spain’s largest union Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) said it had warned that the proposed dismissals were “disproportionate, unreal and an insult to all staff.”

Proposing job cuts “without having previously looked for alternatives” is a sign of the little respect which the bank seems to have” for staff “who have been working and sacrificing for years to get the bank going”, it added in a statement.

Contacted by AFP, a source close to Banco Sabadell confirmed there were plans to reduce the workforce by “around” 1,900 people, mainly through voluntary departures.

European banks are struggling with low interest rates, the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of online banking, which is forcing them to focus on cutting costs.

Banco Sabadell saw its net profit tumble in 2020 by 99.7 percent over previous year to €2.0 million ($2.4 million) due to hefty provisions to face up to the pandemic and the cost of its restructuring.

Adding to the pressure on Banco Sabadell, it tried to merge with larger Spanish rival BBVA in November but the two sides ended the talks after they failed to agree on price.

The proposed job reductions are part of a wave of restructuring in the Spanish banking sector since the 2008 global financial crisis,

Between 2008 and the end of 2019 Spanish banks slashed nearly 100,000 jobs, or around 37 percent of their workforce in 2008, according to the Bank of Spain.


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