By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – State-owned Banco do Brasil announced on Monday, November 21st, it will restructure its operations, closing branches, expanding digital service, reducing working hours and launching an incentive retirement plan. According to bank officials, with the overall restructuring the institution hopes to save more than R$3 billion.
“What we are doing here at Banco do Brasil today is a readjustment of Banco do Brasil to this new scenario, to this new time,” said the institution’s president Rogerio Caffarelli to reporters after the announcement. “Banco do Brasil is the leading bank today in Brazil and will remain leader. For this it needs to make the necessary readjustments,” added the executive.
Among the measures to be taken are the closing of 402 branches across the country and the reduction of banking services to another 379 units. The changes according to bank officials are part of the expansion plan for the institution’s digital service. “Today, 67 percent of all transactions taking place at Banco do Brasil already occur through digital means,” Caffarelli explained.
The institution will also make available to over 18,000 employees a retirement incentive program, hoping that more than 9,300 will accept, further reducing its payroll. According to Caffarelli, the measures at this time do not foresee layoffs. “Adhesion to the plan is totally optional, that is, it depends on the employee,” said the executive. Listed as one of the largest banks in Latin America, Banco do Brasil has today over 109,000 employees.
The institution is also offering to its more than six thousand employees who now work in the bank’s main administration offices a chance to reduce their eight-hour workday to a six-hour workday. The pay in this case would be reduced by 16.25 percent while the hours would be reduced by 25 percent.