December 5, 2017 / 5:18 PM / in a year

Banco Santander to reduce number of job cuts in Popular integration, union says

MADRID (Reuters) - Banco Santander has reached an agreement with unions to reduce the number of staff affected by planned job cuts relating to the integration of Banco Popular by around 900, a union said on Tuesday.

Santander was originally planning more than 2,000 job cuts, of which 575 the bank was looking to accommodate within its other businesses, the Comisiones Obreras union said in early November.

Santander declined to comment on Tuesday.

Spain’s largest bank took on more than 11,000 employees from Popular when it acquired the bank in June as part of a rescue orchestrated by European authorities. Santander is planning to cut staff at its own and Popular’s corporate centres to lower costs.

Santander said in June it expected restructuring costs of around 1.3 billion euros (£1 billion) related to the deal.

Like its Spanish competitors, Banco Santander is trying to increase earnings from lending activities in Spain where interest rates are at historic lows and increasing competition is erodings margins. As a result, Spanish banks have been focusing on trimming costs.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Editing by Angus Berwick and Jane Merriman

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