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Report: Sberbank's Czech unit cuts staff to improve efficiency

Sberbank CZ a.s. laid off more than 80 employees, or roughly 10% of its workforce, in 2018 as part of its plan to increase its competitiveness and efficiency, E15 reported March 23.

The Czech unit of PAO Sberbank of Russia, which currently employs around 840 people, will most likely continue the optimization process throughout 2019, the report noted, citing the lender's CFO Dušan Baran. The impact of the 2018 layoffs in the form of lower personnel costs will be reflected in the lender's 2019 financial results, the executive added.

Other Czech lenders, including KBC Group NV unit Československá obchodní banka a.s. and Société Générale SA unit Komerční banka a. s., are also looking to lay off several hundred employees in 2019 due to organizational changes, pressure on profitability and competition from fintech companies, E15 noted.

In 2018, Komerční set aside provisions of 223 million Czech koruny as part of a three-year program, a sum that would be sufficient to pay out severance packages for around 1,000 employees, some of which have already left the lender in 2018, E15 noted, adding that around 200 people could leave Československá obchodní banka.

As of March 22, US$1 was equivalent to 22.80 Czech koruny.