Portuguese banks "shrink" as hundreds of workers are laid off

Portuguese banks underwent major downsizing last year, with hundreds of workers thrown onto the streets.
The quaintly-termed “restructuring process of Portugal’s financial sector” led to the shutdown of over 200 bank branches and the slashing of 1,240 jobs, writes Diário de Notícias and Dinheiro Vivo. Their reports, based on data presented by Portugal’s five main banks – BCP, BPI, BES, Banif and CGD – show that all together 235 Portuguese bank branches closed down in 2013, reducing the combined market offer by 7%.
When it came to shutdowns, BCP was responsible for the lion’s share – closing 65 branches – followed by CGD (60), BPI (51), Banif (36) and BES (23).
But it was the state-owned CGD that cut the most jobs, managing to eliminate 500, without actually sacking anyone, the bank’s CEO José Matos revealed.
According to him, the financial institution is well on its way to successfully complete its financial restructuring plan by 2017 and meet obligations set out by Brussels.
Following CGD was BCP, the bank that laid-off the highest number of workers (400) – and which must reduce staff numbers by a further 7,500 by 2017.
BCP remains the most widely-represented bank in the country, with over 774 branches located both in mainland Portugal and in the Azores and Madeira.
CGD is not far behind, while Banif, the smallest of the five, is the financial institution with the lowest amount of establishments on a national level – only 276.