BANKING giant BBVA is looking to reduce staffing levels by almost 3,800 and close 530 branches because of the impact of internet banking and the need to cut costs.
Bank president Carlos Torres believes the restructuring is essential “to guarantee the future viability” of BBVA – unions have branded the move “an obscenity”.
The bank has started the necessary legal steps to make 13% of its staff redundant from its Spanish workforce of 29,300. It means around 3,000 jobs will go across the branch network and some 800 from central services – the insurance and securities divisions escape the cull.
And BBVA justifies its restructuring as the banking sector as a whole is transformed.
It said its customers’ online banking transactions increased by 87% over the last two years while office operations tumbled by 48%.
The bank said it was also hit by record low interest rates and new faces in the market. To remain competitive and ensure future employment was sustainable, it was “essential” to reduce costs.
It has also promised “dialogue” with workers, with the “will to reach the best possible agreement for everyone”.