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Banks in Ireland heading to crisis? Permanent TSB and other main banks to reduce its staff numbers in an effort to cut its costs further

As part of cost-cutting measures, Permanent TSB plans to cut 300 jobs. The jobs to be reduced through a voluntary redundancy scheme focuses primarily on managerial positions and head office roles.

The bank currently has about 2,400 employees in its branches and offices across the country. The proportion of jobs eliminated under this scheme would be nearly 12.5%.

The bank will have less employees and, as a result of switching to more flexible ways of functioning, the lender plans to leave the building that it currently occupies on Hatch Street in Dublin.

However, the Bank noted that the changes would not result in the closure of any of its 76 branches and will continue to adapt its network to reflect changes in the behaviour of its customers.

PTSB staff and unions have been informed and further engagement will take place over the coming weeks.

A spokeswoman commented about the bank’s restructuring programme that it “will involve a review of the bank’s organisation structure, the introduction of smarter ways of working for staff and better use of our property portfolio.”

“We will be able to facilitate a reduction of circa 300 colleagues via a voluntary severance scheme, which will be weighted towards management and head-office functions,” she added.

Following the move by Permanent TSB to reduce its staff numbers, similar decisions were made by the other major banks.

By the end of next year, Bank of Ireland is to reduce its workforce by 1,450 under a voluntary redundancy scheme. AIB is also reducing its workforce by 1,500 over the next two years.

Ulster Bank plans to cut its staffing by 250, while KBC plans to close four of its 16 branches in Ireland.

The Financial Services Union, which represents PTSB staff, said that these moves are a prime example of why a detailed discussion on the future of banking in Ireland is urgently required. The FSU called for the establishment of a banking forum in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to discuss such issues.

According to economists, the situation in the country is similar to the banking crisis of 2009-10. More than the fear of a coronavirus outbreak, the no-deal Brexit, which begins in January, will hit the Irish economy hard.

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