ECONOMY

Banks draft voluntary exit programs for employees

The commissioners to be appointed for monitoring local banks after their recapitalization will have to examine the issue of staff reductions, which according to plans may reach up to 20 or 25 percent of existing employees in the next couple of years.

At the moment bank administrations are saying little about impending staff cuts come, but the truth of the matter is that any decisions will have to be made in association with the appointees to examine them once the recapitalization of the credit system is complete in April 2013.

Current plans lean toward the milder measure of voluntary exits – which Bank of Cyprus has already introduced – for the departure of an estimated 15 percent of lenders’ staff that will mostly concern employees who are closer to retirement.

In ATEbank’s case, staff numbers have already gone down by 500 people from a total of 5,500 in the context of the lender’s acquisition by Piraeus Bank, while the restructuring plan for the former state bank is for about 2,000 employees hired before 1985 to depart in the next three years.

A similar program is also being planned for National Bank as well.

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