The National Bank of Greece, following the lead of Piraeus Bank, said it’s going to reduce its workforce through the voluntary departures of 2,000 employees in a bid to cut its operating costs and boost its profits even more, helped by the mere 0.10 percent interest rate it pays depositors while lending at far higher rates.
This represents approximately 15% of the staff working in Greece, while the reduction of the payroll on an annual basis will be about 120 million euros ($161.76 million) if the plan is successfully completed.
Bank officials said they believe the process will be finished by the end of the year allowing it run with a much smaller payroll and with recapitalization funds from the government.
According to the announcement regarding the results of the first half of this year, staff costs fell by 12%, while the total expenditure decreased in the same period by 6%.
The bank showed a net profit of 344 million euros ($458.91 million) in the first half of the year, nearly three times what analysts expected, while its loan-loss provision fell to 853 million euros ($1.149 billion) in the first half from 1.2 billion ($1.61 billion) in the same period last year.