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Next BOC: 25% reduction of its stores and 15% of its staff HOME • INSIDER • BUSINESS • BOC: Reduction of 25% of its stores and 15% of its staff
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The goal of Bank of Cyprus is the reduction by 25% of its branches but also the reduction by 15% of its staff, within the first half of 2022.
According to the bank, the Management remains focused on further improving efficiency, through actions that include further optimizing the number of stores and further options for retiring full-time employees. In particular, further restructuring of branches is underway, with the aim of achieving a reduction of the number of branches by 25% in the first half of 2022. In relation to further exit solutions for the departure of full-time employees, one of the Bank's subsidiaries completed a small scale Voluntary Retirement Plan (CFP) in the first quarter of 2022, which approved the departure of a small number of full-time employees at a total cost of € 3 million. In addition, staff is expected to be significantly reduced in 2022, with the aim of reducing about 15%.
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The cost-to-income ratio is expected to increase in 2022, as revenues remain under pressure and operating costs increase due to investments in automation and the digital transformation program, before improving to 50% -55% by 2025.
Staff costs and the collective agreement
Staff costs amounted to € 50 million for the first quarter of 2022, at the same levels on a quarterly and annual basis, as a result of voluntary staff redundancy plans, the renewal of the collective agreement, and despite inflation in the first quarter of 2022.
In July 2021, the Bank reached an agreement with the Cyprus Banking Employees Association (ETYK) for the renewal of the collective agreement for the years 2021 and 2022. The agreement concerned a number of changes including a revised system of grades and fees which is linked to its value. employment, as well as the introduction of remuneration on the basis of the performance of each staff member, which will be part of the annual staff salary increase. These two changes are long-term goals of the Bank and are in line with best practice. The expected effect of the renewal of the collective agreement is the increase in staff costs for the years 2021 and 2022 by 3-4% per year and is in line with the effect of respective renewals for previous years.
The Group employed 3,395 people in March 31, 2022, compared to 3,438 people on December 31, 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, the Group, through its subsidiary, completed a voluntary retirement plan (CPS), through which a small number of employees of the Group were approved to retire, with the total cost of € 3 million to be recognized in the consolidated income statement in the first quarter of 2022 as a non-recurring item on the underlying basis (compared to SAR with a total cost of € 16 million recognized in the fourth quarter of 2021, through of which about 100 employees of the Group were approved to leave, with net annual savings estimated at about 3% of staff costs).