The loss-making State owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos has set aside €700 million to spend on staff payoffs including severance pay and early retirement packages.
The money is ‘part of the bank recapitalisation process’ say the bankers whose new board has agreed to shed up to 3,000 jobs in an effort to turn the bank around.
António Domingues, the new leader at Caixa Geral, managed to double his starting pay from that of his predecessor and now is on a mission to decrease the number of employees and the number branches.
The original estimate of the cost to shed staff was a mere €500 million but another €200 million can be added as the number in the firing line increases.
The Left Bloc and the Communist Party gave support to the multi-billion bailout for Caixa Geral as long as there were no staff cuts - but if there were, that they would be by 'mutual agreement.' Both political parties want the bank to be fixed without any pain for the staff.
The bank has been nibbling away at staff numbers anyway as from 2014 to 2015, the bank reported a drop in numbers of 448.
Branch numbers have been declining also with 102 closures since 2010.
If someone does not get a grip on this taxpayer-owned dinosaur, there will be further damage to the economy while the staff opting to take early retirement can look forward to an average of €23,000 a head.