CaixaBank and the unions close an agreement: this will be the largest ERE in the history of Spanish banking

CaixaBank and the unions have reached an agreement on the Employment Regulation File (ERE) that the company planned after the merger with Bankia, which means closing the largest workforce adjustment plan in the history of Spanish banking.

The management of the entity and the representatives of the workers have reached an agreement around the three points included in the negotiation table: restructuring plan, which involves 6,452 exits of the entity (14.5% of the bank’s total workforce and 1,839 less -22% – than those raised at the beginning of the negotiation); modifications of conditions that improve organizational aspects linked to the development of the CaixaBank business model and the complementary social security scheme; and a integration labor agreement for staff from Bankia.

After more than two and a half months of negotiations, this agreement has been reached, which incorporates flexibility and mobility measures that allow solving duplications with voluntary departures. Likewise, all employees who leave the entity and want to remain in the labor market may benefit from a relocation plan prepared in collaboration with Lee Hecht Harrison – a specialist company in career transition and talent development projects.

This is a broad set of measures aimed at relocating each worker who joins to a new stable job (permanent) and adjusted to their professional profile, with the aim of achieving the relocation of 100% of the participants in the program.

In addition, CaixaBank will collaborate with the strategic consulting firm McKinsey and sector entities to promote a deep analysis of the labor market and new employment opportunities at the local level in the short and medium term.

Output distribution

Of the total of 6,452 departures established in the agreement, which will occur voluntarily, 4,902 (75.97%) correspond to the commercial network and 1,550 (24.93%), to central services and intermediate structures. This will facilitate the resizing of the entity’s structure, with a reorganization of the network that will involve the integration of 1,500 branches.

The agreement establishes various phases of adherence to the plan by the employees, so that the surplus quotas can be completed. They will be identified according to provinces, in the case of the commercial network, and according to functional areas, in the case of corporate services, applying voluntariness, geographic mobility measures and functional mobility measures. In the event that, after applying the entire protocol, some positions remain to be resolved, an internal monitoring commission would study, case by case, what internal flexibility measures could be applied.

In addition, a total of 708 relocations in affiliated companies of the CaixaBank Group. People who relocate to a subsidiary will do so using the special group leave formula regulated in CaixaBank and will have the option of returning to the bank, if they so wish, after a period of five years.

The signed agreement is consistent with the obtaining a minimum of 770 million euros total cost synergies announced in the merger communication.

Compensation proposal

The compensation scheme for employees who leave the entity establishes three groups, depending on their age:

-Employees between 54 and 63 years old: Fractional payment of 57% of the annual gross fixed salary, payment of premiums by voluntary assignment (born in 1964 or earlier, 18,000 gross euros; born in 1965, 23,000 gross euros; born in 1966 and 1967, 28,000 gross euros), discount of the gross minimum unemployment benefit, maintenance of 100% of contributions of savings to the company’s pension plan, maintenance of the private health care policy, payments of the special agreement with Social Security until the age of 63, revaluable, and capital assurance in cases of absolute permanent disability and severe disability. Although these conditions are applicable to all employees over 54 who have the required seniority, a maximum of 1,750 adhesions is established for employees aged 54 and 55.

-Employees aged 52 and 53: Fractional payment of the amount equivalent to 57% of your fixed annual salary multiplied by 7 and payment of an additional premium of 38,000 gross euros, discounting the gross minimum unemployment benefit. The resulting amount will be paid monthly until reaching the age of 63. Likewise, the special agreement with Social Security up to 63 years, revaluable. The maximum limit of adhesion to this group is 750 people.

-Rest of workers: Single payment of 40 days of fixed salary per year, with a limit of 36 monthly payments, and a premium (23,000 euros for employees with more than six years of seniority and 13,000 euros for employees with less seniority).

Modification of the distribution model to boost the business

On the other hand, the management of the entity and the union representation have also signed an agreement to modify the distribution model, with measures that will allow ipromote the development of the commercial network and, especially, of Store office models, inTouch remote attention and rural offices.

In this sense, the agreement includes the expansion of the Store office quota to 925 (currently, the entity has 574 Store offices established throughout Spain). These are the offices of new CaixaBank model, focused on advising clients, with a new design, more staff, more services and better adaptation to new consumer habits.

In addition, the number of employees who may be assigned to the inTouch centers is increased to 2,900, the digital care model that offers personalized attention to clients through remote technological channels.

The agreement also reinforces the model of care in rural areas, with an expansion of the quotas of singular offices and window offices, and maintenance of the ofmóvil service. The entity reiterates its commitment to financial inclusion and will maintain its services in all the places where it is the only operator.

Regarding the modification of the social security model, the agreement establishes an annual growth of the benefits caused to a annual fixed rate of 0.35%. The risk coverage system is unified, moving from a life annuity system to a fixed capital model. Regarding the retirement contributions for the CaixaBank employee group, the sets an increase of 2%, and for new future incorporations a system of progressive retirement contributions is set up to 7.5% of the pensionable salary.

Integration labor agreement

CaixaBank and the union representatives have also approved the terms of the labor agreement for the integration of Bankia into CaixaBank.

The agreement guarantees Bankia’s current annual remuneration and establishes a progressive homologation to the Conditions in force at CaixaBank. It will come into force on September 1, the date from which the conditions established in the CaixaBank regulations will apply.

It also establishes the salary standardization of Bankia employees, when improvements are made, progressively within a period of five years from the effective date of integration. The harmonization of inputs Employee pension plans to CaixaBank conditions will also be progressively homologated over the same period.

The rest of the CaixaBank social benefits will be applied immediately, oncemoratorium periods lifted to respect some previous benefits. In relation to the health policy, coverage is guaranteed for all employees.

CaixaBank wishes to thank all the members of the Workers’ Legal Representation who have been involved in these two and a half months of negotiation for the work carried out, and acknowledge the effort and the will to negotiate to reach an agreement that allows ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of the entity to future.


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