The Bank of Cyprus is offering a Voluntary Retirement Plan to 500 - 600 employees of its employees in the hopes that it can reduce its number of employees in order to maintain profitability. If employees do not accept the plan, however, the bank may opt to make them redundant.
The bank announced the specifics of the plan on Monday, July 4, noting that employees who opt for voluntary retirement may be compensated up to a maximum of €200,000, tax-free, depending on their length of service to the company.
The bank's goal, as announced a few months ago, is to reduce staff by 15%, which corresponds to approximately 500-600 people. Moreover, when it presented its results for the first quarter of 2022, the Bank of Cyprus stated that within 2022 it will cut costs by reducing its branches by 25% and its employees by 15%.
Bank of Cyprus employed 3,395 people on 31 March 2022, compared to 3,438 people on 31 December 2021, and staff costs amounted to €50 million for the quarter under review.
In an internal message sent to BOC staff, CEO Panikos Nikolaos listed the actions being implemented in order to reduce costs and return to profitability.
Some of these actions included:
- Sale of portfolios of non-performing loans as well as other assets.
- Upgrading and expanding the offered digital services and products resulting in the possibility of self-service for customers without their physical presence in the bank branch being necessary and thus reducing the number of transactions carried out while increasing the use of digital channels.
- Reduction of administrative/support tasks through automation, system upgrades, process simplifications and centralizations.
- Radical simplification and automation of the financing process.
- Optimizing the bank's geographic footprint by closing another 15 branches.
- Optimizing and simplifying the Organizational Structures while eliminating managerial levels.
- Termination of the work of the Task Force.
In essence, the bank is moving towards digital transactions, already predominant in many countries around the world. Almost all transactions will now be done digitally and online without the need for additional staff or bank branches, which may result in decreased fees for customers as well.