The merger of Barwa Bank and the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) may result in more than 150 job cuts, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

In August last year, the two banks entered into an agreement to merge their banking operations to create a single entity with $22bn in assets.

According to the report, the combined lender will be rebranded as Lusail Bank. The integration of the services is expected to begin at the end of this quarter.

Last month, Barwa Bank shareholders approved the proposed merger.

The deal is expected to bolster the combined entity’s presence in the retail and private banking sectors.

Initially, the two banks planned a three-way merger with another lender Masraf Al Rayan. However, the deal did not materialise; and Barwa Bank and IBQ started working on their combination.

Several other banking groups in the Middle-East are currently planning or pursuing  consolidation of their businesses due to falling growth and subdued credit demand.

Last month, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank signed merger deal to create an $114bn lender.

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has also started initial discussions to merge with Riyad Bank. The deal will create a lender with $182bn in assets.