The management of Banco Sabadell has proposed this Thursday to the unions an Employment Regulation File (ERE) that will affect 1,900 workers. As explained by sources of the negotiation, a part of the cut in the workforce will be carried out through early retirements and incentivized dismissals, although the proportion has not yet been specified. The entity has also announced to the representatives of the workers that it has entrusted the temporary work company Manpower with the plan to relocate employees who are affected by the ERE.
The departure of 1,900 workers from the bank, which communicated the decision to the unions last Monday, represents a cut of 12.5% in its workforce, which now consists of 15,000 workers. According to the sources consulted, the plan will be executed mainly in the network of offices and servicing. Initially, these two areas will concentrate 85% of the exits, although that proportion may vary throughout the negotiation.
The bank of Catalan origin justifies the ERE in the need to achieve greater profitability, in line with the strategic plan for the period between 2021 and 2023. This document set the objective of reducing costs of 100 million euros for the transformation of the business model, automation and simplification of processes, although not through staff cuts.
The entity alleges in the ERE documentation the drops in the margin and ROE (around 3%), which affect the entire financial sector, and a profitability that is below the cost of capital (above 9%) . This is being affected above all by an environment of low interest rates, the need to execute provisions and by the greater investment in technology that the financial sector requires.
The new adjustment is in addition to the one that the entity chaired by Josep Oliu already agreed with the unions at the end of 2020, after which 1,800 employees left voluntarily during the first quarter of this year. However, the bank has conveyed to the unions that this plan was not enough to improve their sustainability. Sources of the entity assure that its will is to be able to cover the 1,900 positions that will be extinguished with the ERE through the maximum of voluntary departures and possible early retirement and to protect workers with greater difficulties to access the labor market, between 50 and 55 years old.