Caixabank plans to lay off 18% of staff, it will be the third largest cuts in Spain and the biggest in the history of the financial sector

Financial institution intends to close 1,534 offices across Spain

This comes barely one month after it confirmed its merger with Bankia, on March 26, which made it Spain’s largest lender.

Before the merger, both companies employed over 50,000 people (35,000 at Caixabank and 15,000 at Bankia).

Caixabank is now the largest bank in Spain with around 20 million clients (10 million digital), €623.8 billion in assets, and market capitalization of over €20.5 billion. Moreover, it also holds the leading position in the market shares for deposits (24%), loans (26%) and long-term savings (29%).

The central headquarters will be divided between Barcelona and Madrid.

Caixabank is seeking voluntary redundancies but has said that a maximum of 50% of layoffs can be staff over 50 years old, in order to avoid a “generational imbalance.”

Job losses will also be spread across different regions, with a total of 754 people expected to be laid off in Catalonia. There will be 595 job losses in Barcelona, 85 in Girona, 38 in Lleida and 36 in Tarragona.

Unions have described the job cuts, equivalent to more than half of Bankia’s 15,000-strong pre-merger workforce, as “shameful” and “savage.” The Catalan government described the news from CaixaBank was “worrying” and promised to make “titanic” efforts to prevent job losses, citing the example of temporary unemployment schemes (ERTOs).

The job cuts will the second largest ever in Catalonia, according to the Ara newspaper, surpassed only by automaker Seat’s cuts in 1993, which affected almost 9,000 employees. They will be the third largest cuts in Spain, the biggest in the history of the financial sector.

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