Israeli lender Bank Leumi is set to reduce its headcount by 700 by the end of next year. The figure represents nearly 8% of its workforce.

The decision was taken following an agreement with the bank’s union in a bid to reduce its operating costs. The bank expects that around 250 people will leave the organisation by the end of this year through an early retirement programme.

Additionally, Bank Leumi has announced that it will move its head office from Tel Aviv to Lod, as part of its cost-cutting measures. The transfer is expected to be completed in two years.

The bank management and the union issued a joint statement over the decisions.

The bank was quoted by as saying:  “As part of the streamlining process, Leumi will gradually transfer the bank’s head offices from Tel Aviv and Central Israel to the computer campus in Lod, with the aim of concentrating all its offices under one roof.”

Several other Israeli banks have already shifted their head offices from Tel Aviv to other places due to similar concerns.

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At the end of 2018, Leumi Group employed 9,740 people. Around 8,637 of them worked for the bank, the publication added.

Last month, Bank Leumi partnered with National Australia Bank (NAB) and Canada’s CIBC to launch an online portal.

The portal is aimed to facilitate collaboration with fintech firms. It will serve as a channel for the fintech firms to submit proposals that address growth opportunities identified by the banks.