Saving Spree

Belt-Tightening at European Banks

A man walks past the logo of ING Group NV at a branch office in Amsterdam, Netherlands January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/File photo
Netherlands-based bank ING is outperforming several European competitors, but still cutting costs by doing away with thousands of jobs.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    European banks are struggling to keep up with U.S. rivals and desperate to restore profitability. The latest round of job and cost cuts may help.

  • Facts


    • European banks are currently planning to cut about 20,000 jobs, but this is only a fraction of the 150,000 positions eliminated since the financial crisis.
    • Commerzbank will eliminate 9,600 full-time jobs, but create 2,300 new jobs. Current employees are unlikely to qualify for the new jobs as the lender transforms into a technology-driven company.
    • Layoffs are still expensive. Experts estimate the average cost of job cuts at banks at €100,000, or $112,000, per employee.
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There have been better times to work for a bank. Once again, Europe’s financial institutions are preparing for big layoffs.

Major Dutch lender ING plans to slash about 7,000 jobs within the next five years. Germany’s second biggest private bank Commerzbank announced it’s losing 9,600 positions by 2020. Even Spain’s Banco Popular has 3,000 more jobs on the chopping block.

Across the board, European banks intend to lay off about 20,000 people, and that probably won’t even be the end of the wave.

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