Cuts From Santander to ING Take Banking Job Losses Above 75,000

Even as European banks reported lower-than-expected loan losses and strengthening capital ratios in the third quarter, the job cuts kept coming across the continent.

Spain’s Banco Santander SA plans to get rid of as many as 2,000 staff at its Polish business. Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group Plc announced it was cutting about 1,070 roles, mostly at its technology and retail units. Dutch lender ING Groep NV revealed the loss of 1,000 jobs by the end of 2021.

The moves take the total reductions announced globally this year to 75,368, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. That’s on track to surpass last year’s roughly 80,000 cuts.

While dozens of lenders worldwide are making reductions, about 80% of the cuts are by European firms whose home markets face few growth prospects as well as rock-bottom interest rates. The job losses are only the latest in a steady cull of headcount at European banks since 2008.

The reductions come as many European lenders tout their financial strength to lobby regulators to restart dividends despite a deteriorating backdrop of new infections and restrictions that threatens to bring more economic pain. Two days before Santander announced job cuts, Chairman Ana Botin called for the return of dividends.

“Given the group’s current performance, the strength of our balance sheet, our liquidity profile and mix of businesses, I am confident that we will be able to resume cash dividends once regulatory conditions allow,” Botin said in a statement.

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