Since the Portuguese crisis, over 10 thousand workers left the banking sector

  • ECO News
  • 19 April 2018

The Portuguese banking sector continues shrinking. Since the financial crisis, close to one fifth of employees and closed one hundred branches. This decrease will continue for the next years.

The Portuguese banking sector continues shrinking. And one of the most visible faces of that adjustment is the number of workers which, since troika came to Portugal, has caused 10 thousand employees to leave the sector. Last year alone, banks lost over 700 workers, twice as many branches that shut doors. In spite of the significant reduction in the number of banking workers, the exit rhythm has decelerated, unlike the number of closing banking agencies, which continues to increase.

The financial crisis left some marks on the Portuguese banking sector. Costs had to be reduced, namely the number of workers and agencies. Those cuts were even more prominent when banks had to start implementing restructuring plans set by Brussels to receive capital injections — just as in Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD).

Since 2011, when Portugal applied for a bailout plan from the European Commission, five people a day were leaving financial institutions’ branches. Overall, banks left 10,630 workers, either by mutual agreement, natural resignations or early retirements, according to APB (Portuguese Banking Association). The ongoing restructuring of several banks state that the market’s adjustment tendency will continue in the upcoming years, but not at the same speed.

10 thousand employees left the banking sector since 2011

Source: APB | Numbers in thousand euros

Although the sector continues to lose employees, the rhythm has decreased in the past three years — it has reached the smallest variation since the beginning of the crisis in 2017. However, the same cannot be said about the closing of breaches: between 2016 and 2017, 332 agencies have been closed; since 2011, there are almost 2,000 less agencies. This reduction can be explained both by the cost-cutting policy and by the digitization of the banking.