Portuguese banking was the third to cut more employees in Europe

  • ECO News
  • 2 November 2017

The ratio of employees in the Portuguese banking per 10 thousand inhabitants decreased 20% between 2011 and 2016. Only Spain and Greece suffered larger falls, according to Oliver Wyman's study.

The financial crisis had a devastating impact on the European and Portuguese banking, which forced a restructuring of the sector as a whole. The decrease in the number of employees and branches is one of the most visible results of that restructuring. Portugal was one of the most harmed countries: between 2011 and 2016, the Portuguese banking had the third largest plummet in the number of employees, surpassed only by Spain and Greece. Yet, Portugal was the fifth country in which more branches closed down in that same time frame.

According to Oliver Wyman’s study, in 2011, there were 56.7 banking workers in Portugal per ten thousand citizens. This number decreased to 45.1 workers in 2016, meaning there has been a 20% decrease (11.6 employeesper each 10,000 inhabitantes), the third largest percentage in a universe of nine countries — Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Spain and Greece.

Only Spain and Greece performed worse than Portugal. Greece had a ratio of 50 employees to ten thousand inhabitants in 2011, and in 2016, that ratio decreased to 39.7 — meaning a 27% plunge (14.3 less workers). Spain had a 23% decrease, from 52.6 in 2011 to 40.3 in 2016.

Evolution in the number of workers and branches

Source: Oliver Wyman

The cut in the number of employees was followed by a decrease in the number of branches, but Portugal is slightly better positioned: it comes in fifth place in the ranking, having suffered a 21% fall between 2012 and 2016.

Last year alone, the Portuguese banking almost doubled the amount of workers it dismissed. In total, over two thousand employees left Portuguese banks in 2016, if we consider the five main banks operating in Portugal (Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Novo Banco, Santander Totta, Montepio, BCP).