Spain’s Banco Popular to cut up to 3,000 employees

Spain’s Banco Popular is planning to cut around 300 bank branches as part of a restructuring plan that would affect up to a fifth of its almost 15,000 employees.

The Spanish sixth largest bank said in a note to the Spanish financial regulator it would consult with unions over the 2,900 to 3,000 staff who would be affected.

Popular, which in May made a €2.5bn share issue to clean up toxic retail assets, said in July it would implement a cost-cutting plan which is expected to generate savings of around €175m annually from 2017.

The restructuring intends to “improve the improve profitability and efficiency of the entity”, the bank said.

Popular’s toxic property assets have hampered its attempts to recover from the crisis, Reuters reported.

The bank reported in July just €122,000 of second-quarter net profit and has announced provisions on bad loans of €4.7bn, which it said could lead to overall losses of €2bn in 2016.

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