MADRID (Reuters) - Santander plans to close 1,150 branches in Spain and cut just over 3,700 jobs, or around 11 percent of its workforce in the country, the Spanish union Comisiones Obreras said in a statement on Tuesday.
Santander declined to comment.
“This reduction will mainly affect the commercial network and its intermediate support structures, although it will also affect the principal offices,” Comisiones said.
At the end of March, the bank had 32,366 employees and 4,366 branches in Spain, according to the banks’ quarterly report.
The measures are part of Santander’s wider strategy to focus on cost savings in Europe while pursuing higher profitability on offer in Latin America.
Along with other European banks, Spanish banks are struggling to increase profits as ultra low interest rates are squeezing returns. As a result, they are having to cut branches and boost efforts to sell services on digital platforms.
In April, Santander said it was aiming for incremental annual cost savings of 1.2 billion euros ($1.35 billion) in the medium term, of which 1 billion euros would come from Europe.
Reporting By Jesús Aguado, editing by Andrei Khalip and Jane Merriman