Emporiki proceeds with staff cuts and branch closures

Lossmaking Emporiki Bank announced yesterday that it is shedding 1,500 jobs and will close down 57 branches across Greece. After losing 492 million euros in 2008 and continuing to post losses in the first quarter of this year, Credit Agricole-owned Emporiki said yesterday it will proceed with the layoffs over three years through the voluntary exit scheme it started in 2007, in order to save on expenditures. Its aim will be to reduce general and administrative costs by about 21 percent through 2011. The restructuring of its branch network means that 57 outlets will have to close and another 33 relocate, but up to 22 new branches will likely open «in high potential growth regions.» Emporiki will also move all the functions of its headquarters outside Athens city center to improve efficiency.