February 27, 2020 / 10:30 AM / 3 months ago

Danske Bank lays off 230 employees in cost-cutting move

FILE PHOTO: A Danske bank sign is seen on a bank's headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Nikolaj Skydsgaard/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark’s biggest lender Danske Bank said on Thursday it would discontinue 400 positions across its Nordic business, including laying off 230 employees, in a bid to cut costs and trim its organisation.

“It is a necessary part of our efforts to reduce costs in order to ensure that we remain competitive,” Karsten Breum, Danske’s head of human resources, said in a statement.

In similar efforts, Danske initiated a hiring freeze last year and offered voluntary redundancies to 2,000 Danish staff in January this year, which has led to the departure of 60 Danish employees..

Danske Bank, which employs more than 20,000 in total, is cutting costs to cope with rising compliance costs and a tough business environment.

The layoffs would primarily hit staff and back-office functions, Danske said. The majority, 120 employees, would be laid off in Denmark.

Jyske Bank analyst Anders Haulund Vollesen, who said the move had been expected, emphasized that customer-facing staff would not be affected by the job cuts.

“They are trying to cut costs as much as they can without hurting their top line,” Vollesen said.

In January, Danske said it would cut 108 jobs in Finland, where it employs about 2,000, but following negotiations that number is now 60, it said.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by David Evans

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