KBC to cut 1,400 jobs over three years

Summary

The Belgian bank will shed 10% of its workforce through voluntary redundancies as well as terminate the contracts of 400 subcontractors

Outsourcing to Eastern Europe

Belgian bank and insurer KBC has announced plans to shed 10% of its workforce, with the loss of 1,400 jobs over the next three years. Jobs will be cut at the bank’s head office in Brussels, in back-office support functions and at individual branches.

Cuts will be achieved by not replacing about 500 staff per year who retire or otherwise leave the company. “No mandatory collective redundancy plan or collective departure plan is planned or required,” said the bank in a statement. “These changes will be implemented from September 2019 until the end of 2022.”

Some of the lost jobs in Belgium will be outsourced to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. On top of the staff cuts, KBC also plans to terminate the contracts of about 400 subcontractors, mainly in IT.

“We cannot deny that there will be a significant impact on the staff,” said ACV union rep Dirk de Backere. “We are worried about the workload for those who remain.”

Meanwhile, another Belgian bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, has announced a 12.4% surge in profits in the first half of 2019, with growth in customer loans and in bank deposits. The bank added, however, that it still planned to increase its fees from 1 January.

“We are looking at our competitors, who changed their fees in September,” said the bank in a statement. “We will communicate the changes to our customers in October.”

Consumer protection watchdog Test-Aankoop has gathered 17,000 signatures on an online petition against high banking fees in Belgium.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA