BBVA weighs cutting around 3,000 jobs in Spain – Expansion says

(Reuters) – Spain’s BBVA is considering cutting around 3,000 jobs in its home market, or around 10% of its staff there, to adapt to the rise in online banking, newspaper Expansion reported on Wednesday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

BBVA declined to comment.

Last month, the bank’s chief executive officer Onur Genc told analysts the lender was looking into cost-cutting plans for low growth geographies, “including a fast restructuring programme (in Spain)” in the first half of 2021.

Spanish and European lenders are pursuing different alternatives to cut costs, either through tie-ups or on a standalone basis, as they grapple with the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and ultra low interest rates.

BBVA’s net profit in Spain fell 48% in the fourth quarter against the same quarter of 2019.

A spokeswoman for Comisiones Obreras, the biggest union at BBVA, said on Wednesday negotiations or meetings with the bank on potential job cuts had not started yet.

BBVA has around 29,300 employees in Spain out of around 123,000 globally.

The cuts would be roughly in line with similar measures taken by other Spanish lenders.

BBVA’s main competitor in Spain, Santander, last year announced it would lay off nearly 3,600 employees and cut around 30% of branches in the country.

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