BBVA management will today hold its first meeting with the trade unions to negotiate the conditions of the collective redundancy procedure (ERE) that it is going to implement in Spain and which will affect both central services and the commercial network.
This redundancy plan will be applied to BBVA S.A., which has around 23,300 employees, leaving out the rest of the bank’s companies in Spain.
The bank is expected to give an introduction to its plans today and the negotiating table will be set up, although no official figures have yet been put on the table. The plan could involve the departure of some 3,000 workers, around 13% of the workforce.
The unions consider this figure to be high and will negotiate to ensure that the impact is as small as possible.
For its part, BBVA management has indicated this week that it is approaching these negotiations with a “dialoguing” attitude and frames this process of workforce reduction in the current context “of profound transformation marked by enormous competitive pressure, low interest rates, the accelerated adoption of digital channels by customers and the entry of new digital players”, as explained in its letter to workers.
The bank considers it essential to make these adjustments if it is to remain competitive and sustainable over the coming years, given the growing importance of costs in a sector with an increasingly permanent problem of profitability. It will finance the process with the capital injection of €8.5 billion it will obtain from the sale of BBVA USA.
The bank has not yet detailed whether it will adopt measures such as voluntary redundancies or early retirements, although this is the usual practice in these processes.
BBVA has not carried out a redundancy programme in Spain since the takeover of CatalunyaCaixa in 2015. On that occasion, 1,557 employees left, 5.7% of the workforce. Since then, the bank has taken early retirement of around 600 employees each year. Last year, 769 workers left in this way, and the previous year, 611. The net outflow of employees since 2015 has been 3,573 people.