UniCredit has announced its plan for 2022-2024, which will focus on growing and improving returns across its key markets, digitalisation and higher dividends.

The Italian banking giant plans to spend at least €16bn through a combination of cash dividends and share buybacks between 2022-2024.

UniCredit’s chief executive Andrea Orcel, who joined the bank in April, is targeting a revenue growth of about 2% and profit growth of 10% through 2024 for the bank.

The lender said it will invest €2.8bn to upgrade its digital and data infrastructure.

UniCredit plans to hire for 3,600 roles over the course of plan, of which, 2,100 are for digital and data and the remaining 1,500 for business growth.

Orcel stated: “We are investing in digital, data and our businesses, putting clients back at the centre, setting out a new way of working for our employees and pursuing a capital-light model with sustainability embedded throughout. With this strategy we will deliver materially increased and growing shareholder returns while growing our business and maintaining capital strength.”

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Currently, the lender employs 87,000 people and caters to 15 million clients in Italy, Germany, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe.

The lender is looking at potential acquisitions as well. In October UniCredit ended talks with the Italian government over the sale of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).

The talks ended because they could not reach an agreement related to the capital injection in troubled MPS and its operations.