BUSINESS

Banco Santander intends to lay off 1,200 employees in Spain

Move comes amid plans to close 450 branches in a bid to streamline network of offices

Spain's largest lender is cutting its workforce by 5%.
Spain's largest lender is cutting its workforce by 5%.EFE

After announcing the closure of 450 branches last week, Banco Santander intends to lay off 1,200 employees – 5% of its workforce – in Spain, according to labor union sources.

Representatives of Spain’s biggest bank met with union leaders on Wednesday morning to discuss the layoffs. Previous staff-restructuring programs, such as that which followed the acquisition of Banesto in 2012, have been based on early retirement for employees aged 55 or over, who will be paid 70% of their salary until they reach retirement age.

The move is part of a network reorganization by Santander, which says it plans to have 1,000 large branches with around eight employees in each one within three years. The lender wants to move employees to bigger branches that will focus on providing clients with personal advice, and create more opportunities for selling them complex products with higher commissions for the bank.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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