Years pass and banks still cut jobs and branch networks

The situation in the Polish banking sector is very good. Banks are extremely liquid, and the prospect of raising interest rates means that profits will be very high. However, many banks are still reducing employment. The trend is growing from month to month.

Declining trend

According to the Polish Financial Supervision Agency, in January 2021, 148.5 thousand people were employed in the banking sector in Poland. Nation. Over the next six months, employment in enterprises decreased by about 3,000 people. employees. In turn, while there were 142.5 thousand bank employees in January this year, their number decreased by 6,000 a year.

Along with the reduction in the number of employees, the number of bank branches is also declining. In January 2021, the Polish banking network included a total of 5,505 branches. At the end of January this year. was already 5206.

However, the reduction in employment or the liquidation of branches does not stem from the poor prospects of creditors. On the contrary, banks’ net profit is expected to reach record levels this year. An increase in interest rates increases the net interest income of creditors, which in turn turns into profit. According to NBP, the net profit of the banking sector in Poland in January-February 2022 amounted to 4.12 billion PLN. This means an increase of 97.4 percent. Every year.

Banks are facing a harvest period, and the changes we are seeing in terms of employment and the number of branches in the sector are driven by the desire to eliminate unnecessary costs or progressive digitalization.

– In my opinion, this is due to digitalization and the reduction in the number of seized objects. It is not a question of reducing costs, but rather of eliminating unnecessary costs for the bank, and the changes are not welcomed by customers. Of course, sometimes it goes too far, for example, when the availability of the call center deteriorates after the reduction of employment in these places (or dependence on cars in general), but in general, the decline in employment is not felt by customers, he says. Marcin Materna, Head of Analysis, Millennium DM.

Not surprisingly, banks prefer digitalization. According to the report, the number of customers actively using e-banking is constantly growing.[email protected]”For the fourth quarter of 2021, published by the Association of Polish Banks. At present, there are more than 21 million customers who access operating sites using a computer at least once a month. This is 1.6 percent more than in the third quarter of 2021.

“The biggest changes can again be seen in the mobile banking segment. There was a dynamic increase in the number of users of banking programs. 4.22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. The number of active users of banking programs has increased. At present, they have 16.5 million, or almost 17 percent. more than a year ago. Significantly, the largest percentage change that can be observed is a 7% increase. the number of active customers using mobile applications only. By the end of the fourth quarter, their number was close to 10 million. This means 59 percent. The majority of users manage their finances using only mobile applications, ”the report said [email protected]

Salary pressure

In Poland, employment in banks is declining. However, in some cases, this does not reduce costs. Therefore, in particular, due to the pressure on wages, salaries are rising, which means that in 2021, bank spending will be higher than a year earlier.

Last year, PKO BP’s operating expenses amounted to 6.17 billion PLN, up 3.2%. Every year. Their level, among others, was set at 226 million PLN, an increase of 7.6 percent. mainly the payment of bonuses to employees for the bank’s activities in 2021, higher bonuses and the cost of rewarding employees as a result of increased employment in subsidiaries. At the end of last year, PKO BP employed 25,657 people, which is 202 people less than the previous year.

At the end of last year, the number of PKO Bank Polski branches was 975 compared to 1,004 a year earlier. For comparison, the number of branches in 2017 was 1194.

As Bank Pekao explains, inflationary pressures, changes in customer behavior, and the increasing digitalization of banking services have led banks to try to reduce operating costs, e.g. by reducing the number of branches and employees. Bank Pekao also continued to optimize its branch network and implement an employment restructuring program. At the end of December 2021, the number of employees in the group was 14,702 compared to 14,994 at the end of 2020. It should be noted that despite the completion of the idea, the number of Pekao employees has decreased from year to year. Bank acquisition.

At the end of last year, the employment in the capital group Santander Bank Polska was 11.3 thousand people. jobs, which is a decrease of 10.2 percent. Every year. Santander explains that “this is the result of the transformation of the business model of both banks in the group through digitalization, branch network optimization, progressive migration of products and services to remote distribution channels and technological and systematic implementation. organizational solutions that increase the operational efficiency of the organization. ”

Recall that the group redundancy procedure adopted by the board of Santander Bank Polska at the end of 2020 provides for a reduction in employment to a maximum of 2,000. Employees of the bank’s business support center and distribution network until the end of December 2022. In 2021, 719 people were involved in this process.

Santander Bank Polska’s staff and operating expenses amounted to 3.17 billion PLN, 2.8% less than a year ago, due to a higher base, higher collateral for employee severance payments in the comparable period, as well as higher BGF fees. Comparable wages and activities increased by 6.4 percent. reflecting the annual, inter alia, increase in wage costs.

However, not all banks reduce employment. An example of this is mBank, which increases the number of employees, albeit to a lesser extent, throughout the organization. In total, at the end of 2021, employment in the mBank group amounted to 6,738 people compared to 6,688 a year earlier, which is 50 jobs more than a year earlier.

Operating expenses of the mBank group (including depreciation) amounted to 2.46 billion PLN, an increase of 1.9%. Compared to 2020. This was mainly due to labor costs, while non-staff costs remained stable. In 2021, staff costs will increase by 96.2 million PLN, or 9.9%. At that time, among others, there was an increase in wages, due to the payment of additional bonuses in the form of a lump sum for some employees in the third quarter of 2021.

In the Bank Millennium Group, employment at the end of 2021 amounted to 6,942 FTE, which is a decrease of 550 FTE compared to 2020. The total level of human expenditures in the Millennium Group was 816.2 million PLN and increased by 4.7 percent. It is lower than in 2020

Employment in the ING Bank Country Group rose from 8,451 FTE at the end of 2020 to 8,643 FTE at the end of 2021. In 2021, the group’s operating expenses increased by 7.3%. reached 2.96 billion PLN annually. Personnel costs increased the most in 2021, to 183 million PLN, or 13.9%. as a result of changes in wages, increased employment, as well as employee bonuses (cost 31.8 million PLN) in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic and guarantees for the optimization of operational processes (cost 29.6 million PLN).

Banking elite – how much did the CEOs of the largest WSE banks earn in 2021?

Salary pressure in the banking sector did not affect CEOs last year, as their salaries fell slightly. But they were always very high. Bank managers of private banks are the best paid, but not subject to restrictions, such as state-controlled companies. The highest paid president in the Polish banking sector in 2021 was Michał Gajewski, who headed Santander Bank Polska. His total salary, including basic salary, allowances and bonuses, was just over 4.7 million PLN. This is more than 330,000. PLN more Cesary Stypułkowski, second on the list, in the case of the head of mBank. His basic salary, including other benefits and deferred bonuses, amounted to 4.37 million PLN. Bank Millennium CEO Joao Bras Jorge earned a total salary of about 4.23 million PLN, making him the third highest paid banker in the world. Brunon Bartkiewicz, head of ING Bank Śląski, earned about 4.1 million PLN and is the last on the WSE’s list of bank executives, earning more than 4 million PLN for the previous year. Przemysław Gdanski from BNP Paribas, which is next in the ranking, earned about 3.6 million PLN. The current president of PKO BP earned 162,000 PLN. zloty. However, he did not take over the presidency until mid-October. Zbigniew Jagiello, who headed PKO BP for many years until May 2021, received more than 2.13 million PLN, including bonuses (after Jagiello, the president until January was Jan Emeryk Rościszewski, who earned 1.8 million PLN). In turn, before joining PKO BP, Ivona Duda was president of Alior Bank, where she earned about 780,000 PLN. zloty. In the case of Leszek Skiba, President of Bank Pekao, the total award for the previous year was 1.23 million PLN. According to the data, the high salaries of the heads of Polish banks have decreased compared to 2020. In 2020, the profits of three CEOs – mBank, Bank Millennium and Santander Bank Polska – exceeded 4.8 million PLN. For 2021, no president has overcome this obstacle

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