CaixaBank plans to lay off some 3,000 employees

Lender says restructuring necessary in wake of acquisition of Banca Cívica and Banco de Valencia

CaixaBank on Monday presented a restructuring proposal to the bank’s workers committee that includes some 3,000 job cuts, about 9 percent of its workforce of 32,600.

This is the second-biggest layoff plan in the banking sector after that of nationalized lender Bankia, which presented a labor force adjustment (known as an ERE in Spain) that will affect some 4,500 employees. Labor union sources said 2,000 of the job cuts could take the form of early retirement packages.

The unions and the management have until April to agree the details of the plan. The collective agreement reached last year with the works committee last year requires CaixaBank to negotiate any layoffs. The government is planning to approve a decree tightening access to early retirement, effective from April.

CCOO, the main labor union at the bank, urged management to put forward a plan of a “voluntary nature,” noting that the bank has not required state funding and has passed all stress tests with ease. CCOO official Joan Sierra warned of “serious conflict” if the bank tries to push through dismissals.

CaixaBank, the commercial banking arm of savings bank La Caixa, said the job cuts were necessary in order to “adapt to the current environment and improve the efficiency of resources in the wake of its absorption of Banca Cívica and the purchase of nationalized lender Banco de Valencia.”

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