April 30, 2019 / 9:41 AM / 24 days ago

Santander eyes branch cuts in Spain, to begin talks with unions on Monday

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Santander bank is seen at a branch in Mexico City, Mexico April 12, 2019.REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Santander is planning to undertake branch reductions in Spain as part of the integration process with Banco Popular and would begin talks with unions next Monday, its chief executive officer said.

“We will start the negotiation process with the unions next Monday. We already integrated 600 branches out of 1,500 we expect to finish at the end of July, more or less”, CEO Jose Antonio Alvarez said.

“After that we will start the reduction in the number of branches provided we reach an agreement with the unions,” he added.

As part of its focus on efficiency in Europe, Santander said earlier in April it was expecting 250 million euros (£215 million) of additional cost savings in Spain due to the integration of Popular to boost its underlying profitability.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; editing by Paul Day

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