* Bank says layoffs necessary to adapt to changing market
* Santander, other banks cut costs as Brazil margins shrink
RIO DE JANEIRO Dec 6 Banco Santander Brasil SA
on Thursday said it laid off about 1000 employees
this week as the bank works to cut costs amid a sluggish
Brazilian economy, tighter margins and lower interest rates.
In a news release, the bank said the layoffs were necessary
to help prepare the bank for "the new competitive reality of the
Like other big banks in Brazil, Santander is overhauling its
cost structure as it grapples with a sharp drop in interest
rates over the past year, a stagnant economy, and record
defaults on loans in Latin America's biggest country.
Santander, which is majority-owned by the Spanish bank of
the same name, said the layoffs represent about 2 percent of its
total Brazilian workforce of 55,000 employees.
The dismissals have recently led to protests from labor
unions and court proceedings in Sao Paulo, where a judge is
weighing the legality of the layoffs.
(Reporting By Bruno Marfinati; Editing by Eric Meijer)