MILAN (Reuters) -UniCredit is considering cutting around 3,000 jobs through voluntary departures under a new strategic plan the Italian lender is due to present on Dec. 9, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The majority of the job cuts will affect corporate centres, the sources said, adding the figure was still tentative because the bank would start negotiations with unions only after unveiling the plan.
UniCredit’s new Italy head Niccolo Ubertalli told unions at a recent meeting the bank would redeploy staff towards branches after the domestic network was badly hit by cuts in the past few years, a third source separately said.
UniCredit, which in 2020 lost the title of Italy’s No.1 bank to Intesa Sanpaolo when the rival took over mid-tier player UBI, hired in April investment banker Andrea Orcel as its new CEO to replace Jean Pierre Mustier.
Intesa this month agreed with unions 2,000 early departures and 1,100 new hires https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/intesa-signs-accord-with-unions-2000-early-staff-exits-1100-new-hires-2021-11-16 ahead of a new business plan due in February.
UniCredit, which operates in 13 markets including Germany, Austria and eastern Europe, employs 87,102 staff globally, of which around 36,000 are in Italy. The cuts would amount to 3.4% of UniCredit’s overall workforce.
In Italy, where a significant portion of the reductions would be concentrated given its relative weight for UniCredit, banks only lay off people on a voluntary basis and usually through costly early retirement schemes.
Italian banking unions aim to replace half of the people leaving with young hires in accords over job redundancies.
UniCredit’s previous plan, unveiled in December 2019 and due to run through 2023, had envisaged 8,000 job cuts, leading to 1.6 billion euros in restructuring charges.
Following negotiations with unions after the plan, UniCredit in April 2020 agreed with Italian unions https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-banks-unicredit-idUKKBN21K2WP 5,200 voluntary departures in the country, partly offset by 2,600 new hires.
When he was hired in 2016 to bring UniCredit back from the brink, Mustier slashed 14,000 jobs under his first four-year plan.
Separately on Tuesday, sources said UniCredit was discussing an extension over the medium term of an option to take full control of a joint venture with France’s CNP Assurances.
(Reporting by Valentina Za Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans)