Consequences of accelerating the adoption of digital channels: BBVA will reduce 10% of Spanish staff and 20% of the branch network

10 iunie 2021

An adjustment plan is needed to ensure the competitiveness and the sustainability of employment in the future given the current context of profound transformation in the sector, marked by a tremendous competitive pressure, low interest rates, the accelerated adoption of digital channels by customers and the entrance of new digital players.

The adjustment will involve 2,935 people, 2,725 redundancies and 210 leaves of absence, (a 22.7 percent reduction compared to the 3,798 initially proposed), and 480 branches (50 less than the initial proposal), about 20 percent of branches in Spain, according to the press release. The reduction in the number of redundancies has been made possible, among other things, thanks to the reassignment of 657 people in other tasks within the bank.

The distribution -by areas- of the workforce affected is as follows: 350 people from the Corporate Center¹; 254 people from BBVA Spain’s Central Services; 154 people from intermediate structures of BBVA Spain and; 2,177 people from the branch network.

In order to determine the people affected by this process, it has been agreed that voluntary termination² will take precedence. Additionally, the suitability for the performance of the role/position, training, reskilling and potential, and functional professional capabilities will be taken into consideration.

The agreement includes an outplacement program through HR firm Randstad, which will run for one year, with the possibility of an extension for up to 30 months (vs the six-month period required by law). The goal of this program is to find full-term employment or self-employment formulas for 100 percent of the people affected by the collective layoff who wish to continue working and adhere to the plan.

All the details of the agreement including the economic terms for each age range³ can be seen here.

The cost of the plan is estimated at €960 million before taxes, of which €720 million correspond to the collective layoff and €240 million to the closing of branches. Said cost will be recorded during 2Q21 and the negative impact on the fully-loaded CET1 ratio is estimated at 28 basis points. This process will generate estimated savings of about €250 million annually before taxes starting in 2022, of which around €220 million will be related to staff expenses. In 2021 estimated savings will be about €65 million before taxes.

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¹It includes CIB, of which 81 people are under the reporting unit of BBVA Spain.
² The voluntary termination is subject to the approval of BBVA.
³According to the employee age as of 31 December 2021.

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