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KBC to cut 10% of workforce with loss of 1,400 jobs

11:04 04/09/2019

Belgian bank and insurer KBC has announced plans to shed 10% of its workforce, with the loss of 1,400 jobs over the next three years.

The job cuts will be felt at the bank's head office in Brusssels, in back-office support functions and at individual branches.

In a statement, KBC said "no mandatory collective redundancy plan or collective departure plan is planned or required".

Instead the job cuts will be achieved by not replacing about 500 staff per year who retire or otherwise leave the company.

"These changes will be implemented from September 2019 until the end of 2022," the bank added.

Some of the lost jobs in Belgium will be outsourced to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. On top of the staff cuts, KBC also plans to terminate the contracts of about 400 sub-contractors, mainly in IT.

"We cannot deny that there will be a significant impact on the staff," said an ACV union rep Dirk de Backere. "We are worried about the workload for those who remain."

Meanwhile, another Belgian bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, has announced a 12.4% surge in profits in the first half of 2019, with growth in customer loans and in bank deposits.

However the bank added that it still planned to increase its fees from 1 January 2020. "We are looking our competitors, who changed their fees in September, which we traditionally do in January," BNP said. "We will communicate the changes to our customers in October."

Consumer protection watchdog Test-Achats has gathered 17,000 signatures on an online petition against high banking fees in Belgium.

Photo: Thierry Roge/Belga

Written by The Bulletin