Italy’s Bper to close 50 branches

Italy’s bank Banco Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna (Bper) is expected to close 50 branches and to implement a strong cost reduction exercise which will see personnel cuts, following the under-performance of about 80 branches of its network, according to the chief executive at the bank.

Speaking today to the Italian press, Luigi Odorici (pictured), chief executive at the Bper Group, said cuts will be implemented as part of the industrial plan approuved by the bank in March.

According to the same strategy, the bank will also consolidate its network, merging Meliorbanca, Popolare di Aprilia, Popolare di Lanciano e Sulmona and Cassa di Risparmio dell’Aquila.

Meliorbanca will be merged into Bper by November, and the other banks by June 2013.

Odorici added that 1200 employees will be involved in the restructuring plan, with 400 to 500 employees expected to leave as part of their retirement plan.

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