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June 20, 2019

Polish lender Idea Bank plans to trim workforce by half

Polish lender Idea Bank is set to trim its workforce by nearly half this year in a bid to boost profits.

The plan involves axing around 750 jobs over the next six months. It is expected to save the company around PLN50m ($13.3m).

Idea Bank job cuts: Background

The move comes after the lender registered huge losses last year. In 2018, Idea Bank’s net loss amounted to PLN1.89bn ($496.14m). In the first quarter of 2019, it incurred a loss of PLN81m.

With the planned lay-offs, the bank aims to restructure the operating costs, the Polish lender said in a statement.

Reuters quoted Idea Bank CEO Jerzy Pruski as saying: “Despite the fact that the origins of 2018’s high losses came from the past and the then-unstable business model, their size requires extraordinary actions today. They are necessary to heal the bank.”

Idea Bank is controlled by Polish businessman Leszek Czarnecki.

Last year, the bank suffered huge deposit outflows after Czarnecki accused Poland’s financial regulatory head Marek Chrzanowski of soliciting a ‘multi-million’ bribe. However, Chrzanowski denied the allegation.

In January this year, Idea Bank announced merger plans with another mid-tier lender Getin Noble bank, also controlled by Czarnecki. But the proposal was rejected by the regulator, reported The Financial Times.

Subsequently, the lender started working on plans to scale down its business to reduce losses.

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