STATE-OWNED Permanent TSB is to lay off around 250 staff, after confirming plans to close 16 of its branches as part of an internal reorganisation.
The bank, which was taken into full State ownership in March 2011 through the recapitalisation of Irish Life & Permanent, said its plans were intended to create “a smaller, profitable ‘new’ Permanent TSB bank by 2016″.
The bank will lose the equivalent of 250 full-time staff, meaning the number of personnel actually cut could be higher than this if the redundancies include staff currently sharing part-time roles.
Permanent TSB said it would launch a voluntary severance scheme where employees would offered three weeks’ pay per year of service, on top of their statutory entitlements.
Between 120 and 150 of the jobs are to be lots in the downsizing of the branch network – where 16 of the bank’s 92 branches will close, while another two will become self-service-only – with the remainder being cut from head office.
The bank said one of the four branches it operates in Dublin city centre – which currently includes four branches, at St Stephen’s Green, Grafton St, O’Connell St and Henry St – will be shut.
The bank said, however, that it would invest heavily in another one of its central Dublin branches in order to create a “flagship” central Dublin branch.
Overall the bank said it hoped to cut its operating costs by about 10 per cent through the measures, which will also see a reorganisation of the bank’s main functions so that CHL, its UK mortgage business will be a separate entity from a management point of view.
Chief executive Jeremy Masding said the objective of the internal reorganisation was “to secure a viable future for a core banking business” while also trying to minimise losses from the bank’s loan book.
“We face significant challenges, however we are very confident about our future prospects once this restructuring plan has been implemented,” Masding said.
The plans have been approved by the EU-IMF Troika after being submitted to the European Commission in what the bank said was a “detailed viability plan”.
The Unite trade union, which represents a majority of the workers in the bank, said it would meet with staff in the coming weeks to discuss the plans.
National Co-ordinator Walter Cullen said there was a “significant job of work needed in order to win the confidence of staff”.