BBVA cuts Spanish workforce by 13% to survive “tremendous competitive pressure”

BBVA plans to cut 2,935 jobs in its home market, representing 12.6% of its total workforce in Spain.

The bank agreed its new plans with the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) union this week.

BBVA cuts Spanish workforce by 13% to survive “tremendous competitive pressure”

BBVA negotiated with the Comisiones Obreras union over the cuts

It says the job cuts are a necessary adjustment to “ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of future employment”.

The bank adds it is under “tremendous competitive pressure” from low interest rates, new market participants and the “accelerated adoption of digital channels by customers”.

BBVA initially aimed to close up to 530 branches and lay off 3,798 people, according to April plans. CCOO negotiated those figures down, and the bank will instead close 480 locations.

A majority of the job cuts focus on the bank’s branch network, with 2,177 employees set to leave. Corporate centres (350), central services (254) and intermediate structures (154) were also affected.

The Spanish lender has set aside €1.17 billion to implement its plans, split between €720 million for redundancy packages and €240 million for branch closures.

In terms of savings, BBVA expects its adjustments will accrue €250 million annually before 2022.

BBVA is not the only bank in Spain to recently announce cuts. CaixaBank is looking into the possibility of more than 7,000 layoffs in the wake of its merger with Bankia.

Stabilisation

BBVA has undertaken a series of measures to steady the ship and recoup investments in recent times. In November it offloaded its US business to PNC in an $11.6 billion mega-deal.

The BBVA US subsidiary held significant market shares in America’s sunbelt, including Texas, Alabama and Arizona. It also had more than $100 billion in assets and operated 637 branches.

PNC became the fifth-largest bank the US as a result of the deal.

BBVA then shut down its direct banking subsidiary Simple in January, having originally paid $117 million for it back in 2014.

Rumours of another merger with Banco Sabadell foundered in late 2020 when both institutions called off talks after just two weeks.

Related: Commerzbank finalises 10,000 job cuts after agreement with employees


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