Caixabank, which had initially planned to lay off about 8,291 earlier this year, agreed to reduce the number to 6,452 following discussions with unions post a nationwide strike and several protest rallies in June. Spain’s banking sector has never before witnessed layoffs of this magnitude.
Recently, Caixabank had acquired Bankia to become the biggest bank in Spain. Not long after, it announced its intentions to close over 1,500 branches, that is, more than a fourth of its over 5,000 branches, in an endeavour to shift to the online mode. In early June, the Bank had announced that all its customers would now be able to use its ATMs to access the same digital banking solutions available to them on the Bank’s mobile app and website.
It has now decided to cull only about 14.5 per cent of its 44,400-strong workforce spread over 5,500+ branches, after agreeing to some of the demands put forth by the unions.
Following a massive strike across the country in protest against the layoffs — in which almost 70 per cent of the Bank’s branches in Spain were closed — the Bank got down to negotiations with the unions and agreed to reduce the number of layoffs and also increase the compensation to those being asked to leave. Also, the Bank will now implement the job cuts through voluntary redundancies.