Danske Bank to cut 1,600 jobs in next 6-12 months

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Danske bank headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danske Bank DANSKE.CO said on Thursday it will cut up to 1,600 jobs in the next 6-12 months as part of a cost-reduction programme that runs to 2023.

Denmark’s biggest bank is trying to get costs and compliance under control and had already warned of further layoffs in June. At least 1,000 employees have already left the bank since June last year.

“We need to adapt to the structural changes that the financial sector is experiencing, and to remain competitive in a low-margin and highly competitive market, we simply have to reduce our costs,” Chief Executive Chris Vogelzang said in a statement.

Some of the cuts, which will affect most departments across Denmark, would be achieved through voluntary redundancy agreements and natural attrition, Danske said.

Danske employs more than 22,000 people, of which 11,000 are in Denmark.

“Together with the existing hiring freeze, we hope that it can help reduce the number of actual layoffs at a later time,” Head of Group HR Karsten Breum said.

Shares in Danske were up 0.75% in a broadly firmer Copenhagen blue chip index.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman