CaixaBank has announced it will cut nearly 20% of its workforce across Spain as part of a nation-wide shake following their merger with Bankia.

The Spanish lender is to cut  5,742 jobs and close 1,534 of their 7000 branches across the country. 

The Madrid branch is set to be hit hardest by the restructuring plan, with union bosses expecting some 1,500 job losses. 

Valencia is also set to lose around 500 workers while the closure of the Murcia branches mean some 400 people will be with our work. 

In total, 18% of the workforce is set to be cut as central services drops 1,611 employees. Some 250 jobs across the regional headquarters are also to be cut. 

Government spokesperson María Jesús Montero defended the shock move and claimed that had it not been for the merger ‘we would be talking about a higher volume of workers’. 

The bank pledged to maintain a physical presence in locations where there is only one group office, especially in rural areas.

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the new non-executive chairman of CaixaBank, said: “It is painful to be restructuring and reducing staff.” 

He added that the company would strive to save as many jobs as possible and said all most job losses will be via their voluntary redundacy policy.

We reported last month when two of the country’s high street banks completed a merger to become Spain’s largest banking entity after striking a deal in September last year.

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