The representatives of the workers of the new Unicaja already advance the adjustment plans of the entity, after its merger with Liberbank , despite the fact that the new bank has not yet made the data official. The financial group could present an ERE for 1,000 employees, which would mean an adjustment of 10% of the network , currently made up of 9,660 workers, as estimated by CSIF on Thursday. The talks to start the cut could begin this September, although according to sources consulted Unicaja has not yet summoned the unions.
To this figure, on the other hand, the departure of another 750 Liberbank employees who remain on leave of absence would be added . The bank already decided last June, a month before the merger materialized, its intention to take early retirement to these workers, all of them over 57 years of age.
From CSIF they add that Unicaja plans to carry out more than one ERE. This forecast would be in line with the estimates by the Barclays house of analysts, who suggest that the new bank will cut the workforce by 27% until the end of 2023 . This percentage would suppose an adjustment of 2,600 workers on the current base. With this volume, the bank could save almost 200 million euros per year, in line with the 192 million euros of synergies foreseen in the presentation of its merger plan.
Regarding the branches, the number of stores that could be closed to avoid duplications between the Unicaja and Liberbank networks is still unknown, although the Santander analysis house already pointed to the need to close 300 offices to avoid overlaps . This would mean putting the blind on 21% of the network, currently made up of some 1,400 branches throughout the country, although with a greater presence in their regions of origin (both banks had absorbed other savings banks since the last crisis) such as Andalusia, Castilla and León, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura.
As announced by Unicaja and Liberbank at the time, the restructuring costs of the new group will amount to 1,200 million euros . In a segregated manner, 540 million will be allocated to reorder the network; another 400 million in provisions to increase the coverage of non-performing assets (doubtful loans plus foreclosed) to 67% and 200 million more will be used in other adjustments, among which will be the breakdown of the safe banking alliances.
Barclays analysts predict that, once the costs of the merger have been digested, that is, in 2023, the new bank will achieve a net profit for that year of more than 300 million euros. A figure that other houses rise to almost 380 million euros . Likewise, for said year, the entity will have one of the highest dividend yields in the Spanish sector, with 7.5% according to Barclays and 8%, according to CaixaBank analysts.
Unicaja’s ERE joins the one recently announced this month by Sabadell , to adjust 13% of the workforce, with 1,936 fewer jobs , and close 320 offices. The bank of Catalan origin held a meeting with the unions on Thursday, in which it undertook to study the proposed proposals.
The adjustment that Unicaja will carry out, for which there is still no official data and, despite union statements, it is still unknown whether it will be done through an ERE or other measures, will raise the number of jobs cut by banks to 18,200 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic . Santander already executed an ERE of 3,572 people at the beginning of the year, as did Sabadell, with 1,800 jobs. The Catalan bank is now negotiating another cut of 1,936 jobs. CaixaBank sealed its ERE with 6,452 affected employees; BBVA , with 2,725, and Ibercaja, with another 750 workers.