LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Some of the top banks in Europe have said this year that they plan to cut a total of fewer than 50,000 jobs, a sharp drop from the number announced in 2015. This may signal a turn in the sector’s drive to maintain competitiveness through cost-cutting, although some lenders are looking at forming joint ventures with rivals to improve efficiency further.
Data compiled by Reuters shows 17 of Europe’s biggest banks have announced a total of about 46,000 staff cuts since the beginning of the year - 65 percent lower than the 130,000 job losses announced by 10 of the region’s largest lenders in the second half of 2015 alone.
Here are plans announced by some banks this year:
Germany’s second biggest lender said it would cut 7,100 jobs and suspend its dividend. In August, executives discussed a possible merger with Deutsche Bank, but the lenders said they shelved the project as both wanted to complete current restructuring efforts before taking any steps in that direction.
The Dutch bank said in October it plans to shed 7,000 jobs and invest in its digital platforms to make annual savings of 900 million euros ($1 billion) by 2021.
Italy’s biggest bank has said it would cut 14,000 jobs by 2019, of which 6,500 new cuts were announced this year. This would include slashing 3,900 jobs in Italy and 1,500 in Germany. The bank recently unveiled plans to raise 13 billion euros to shore up its balance sheet and distance itself from Italy’s broader banking crisis.
Switzerland’s second largest bank said it would cut 6,163 jobs during this year, nearly half of which would be from its investment banking division and trading operations.
In March it said it would cut an additional 2,000 jobs from its Global Markets business on top of 4,000 cuts announced in January, after CEO Tidjane Thiam said he had been unaware of trading positions that triggered big writedowns in the first quarter.
The British lender announced 3,640 job cuts owing to branch closures, and offshoring of IT and back-office operations.
The Dutch bank said it would cut up to 2,875 jobs as part of cost cutting measures which would be offset by increasing spending on online and mobile banking platforms, and on raising salaries for remaining employees.
The Polish bank said it planned a restructuring that would include layoffs of up to 2,600 staff by the end of 2017.
Spain’s Banco Popular said in September it would close around 300 branches under a restructuring plan that would affect up to 2,592 employees.
Royal Bank of Scotland
The partly British-government owned lender said it would cut 1,948 jobs as it offshores IT and back-office operations and shrinks its investment banking division.
The Comisiones Obreras union said in April that Spain’s biggest bank would cut a total of 1,660 workers as part of an overhaul in response to rising regulatory costs and a push into digital services.
Barclays will cut about 1,000 jobs in investment banking worldwide and 150 staff from its corporate banking arm in Dubai as new Chief Executive Jes Staley tries to reduce costs and boost returns.
Germany’s biggest lender said in October it would slash 1,000 jobs in the country, on top of an overhaul announced last year which includes shedding 9,000 worldwide.
Concerns about the solvency of Deutsche Bank have grown on European markets due to the possibility that the U.S. Department of Justice will fine it up to $14 billion for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.
French bank Societe Generale announced 675 jobs cuts, 125 of which would be at its investment banking division, with 550 taking place over five years as part of a consolidation .
The bank said the plan, part of a push to cut costs at its retail network while investing in digital banking, would not rely on mandatory redundancies.
Switzerland’s biggest lender said it would cut up to 471 jobs, a majority of which would be from investment banking, while fewer than 100 employees would go from its wealth management division.
Europe’s biggest bank said it would cut 466 staff in France.
Last year it announced layoffs of 50,000 staff - almost a fifth of its workforce at the end of 2014 - in a drive towards automation and consolidation of IT and back-office operations.
The Danish lender said it laid off 77 employees and another 244 out of 8,000 had accepted voluntary redundancy as part of an effort to cut costs.
The Dutch co-operative bank said in June it had agreed a deal with Kepler Cheuvreux to outsource its equity research and brokerage business to Europe’s largest independent broker, with around 15 of the bank’s analysts and 15 traders to lose their jobs as a result.
Last year the bank said it would cut 9,000 staff, or about a fifth of its 47,000 workforce.
The British bank said it was set to cut about a tenth of its global corporate and institutional banking headcount. It was not immediately clear how many of the bank’s global total of 84,477 employees at the end of June would be affected.
Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; editing by David Stamp