The two largest banks in Estonia to downsize

Both Swedbank and SEB that control Estonian banking admit that they plan to lay off some of their employees in order to better survive the economic recession.

Kristi Künnapas, press spokesperson of Swedbank, told Eesti Päevaleht that there could be some layoffs since volumes in some banking segments have been falling. “We will make these decisions according to the changes in business volumes, but there will be no massive redundancy,” she said.

Priit Perens, head of Swedbank in Estonia, did not deny that the bank was considering laying off employees and said that by the end of the third quarter the workforce of Swedbank had fallen by 4 percent lower. “It is likely that it this trend will continue further,” he said.

In September Perens said that there would be no layoffs, but employees who were leaving would not be replaced.

“We are not planning extensive layoffs and we hope to continue that way in the future. In Estonia we have reacted to falling business volume by becoming more efficient. That means we won’t necessarily hire a new person to replace one who is leaving, and we are changing the duties of current staff,” he said in September.

Silver Vohu, press spokesperson of SEB, the second largest bank in Estonia, did not return calls of Eesti Päevaleht. However, according to information available to the newspaper, SEB has already made some of its employees redundant.

Source: BBN

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