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Banco Popular Español responds to report of sweeping layoffs, branch closures

responded torumors of sweeping job cuts and branch closures by saying it is undertaking anoperational analysis that will dictate the actions it needs to take to achieveits objectives.

The statement came after El País reported July 21 that the bankis planning a massive cost-cutting initiative that could include layoffs ofabout 2,500 employees, representing 17% of its workforce, and the closure of about300 offices. The plans would reportedly affect its operations in Spain andPortugal.

Banco Popular said it isnot yet possible to precisely quantify the possible effects of the operationalanalysis, including on its earnings results for full year 2016 and thefollowing years. The bank recently said it was studying to significantly reducethe level of unproductive assets in its balance sheet from 2016 to 2018.

The bank in May launched a€2.5 billionrights to shore up its balancesheet and boost profitability and asset quality.