Ramalho: “Novo Banco will close 35 branches this month, 70 by the end of the year”

  • ECO News
  • 12 April 2018

Novo Banco's restructuring plan will cause around 70 branches to be closed by the end of the year, states the CEO of the financial institution. 440 workers will be dismissed.

Novo Banco will close 35 branches this April. In all of 2018, this number will increase to 70, the CEO António Ramalho stated on the TV news channel Sic Notícias, clarifying that it is necessary to adjust the network of agencies to the new reality of digitization and not just consider the profitability of agencies. In addition to closing those branches, there will also be a decrease in the number of workers. This year alone, 440 employees should be dismissed.

“We will close 35 branches this month and 70 in all of 2018”, the CEO of Novo Banco, António Ramalho, stated. “Closing agencies has been always in a mind frame of less profitability. But now, we are following another model”, namely with the banking digitization, the manager explains. “This adjustment will lead to an ideal number of branches, which should stand at around 400 or a little less”, Ramalho states. Currently, Novo Banco has 473 agencies.

"We will close 35 branches this month and 70 in all of 2018. ”

António Ramalho

CEO of Novo Banco

Novo Banco’s restructuring plan also includes a decrease in the number of employees, a process that should continue not just this year, but in the upcoming years. “The final goal is to dismiss 440 more workers until the end of the year”, Ramalho stated. “Right now, we have 5,445 workers, 43 less than it had in the end of last year”, and Novo Banco’s goal “is to reach 5,000 workers”.

In the upcoming years, the entity believes more than 100 people will “naturally” leave, either by terminating the contract or early retirement. “Our assessment tells us that we can work at cruise speed with 4,800 or 4,900 workers”, the CEO states.

Novo Banco ended 2017 with the largest losses of its brief history: 1.4 billion euros. For 13 quarters — out of the 14 quarters of its life –, the entity headed by António Ramalho has registered negative results. This performance is justified by the high level of impairments that have been registered in the clearance of the bank’s balance. Those impairments are worth 2,057 million euros.