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Reports: Pekao eyes 1,000 job cuts, maintains 2018 profit growth target

Bank Pekao SA launched a voluntary redundancy program for employees at or close to the retirement age, news agency PAP reported May 10, citing the company's management board deputy head Tomasz Kubiak.

The program was initiated due to the ongoing automation of back office processes, which will result in the reduction of around 1,000 jobs at the bank.

The voluntary redundancy program will reduce Pekao's operating costs by about 70 million Polish zlotys per year. The total cost of the program is estimated at up to 40 million zlotys and will most likely be booked in the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, Pekao Bank CEO Michal Krupinski maintained an earlier two-digit growth guidance for the company's 2018 net profit after the lender saw its first-quarter earnings rise 12% year over year.

Krupinski also said that studies regarding a potential merger or cooperation between Bank Pekao and Alior Bank SA will be finalized in the second quarter at the latest. The two lenders said in October that they were going to consider various cooperation options, including a potential merger. PZU SA is the largest shareholder in both Pekao and Alior, owning stakes of 20% and 32%, respectively.

As of May 10, US$1 was equivalent to 3.57 Polish zlotys.