[MILAN] UniCredit, Italy biggest bank by assets, plans to slash thousands of jobs and restructure or exit its retail business in Austria and leasing operations in Italy as it moves to bolster its financial strength and avoid a capital increase.
UniCredit, the latest major EU bank to announce deep overhaul of operations to boost profits and increase core capital, said on Wednesday it expected a CET 1 ratio of 12.6 per cent in 2018 compared to 10 per cent in a previous plan.
Net profit for 2018 is expected at 5.3 billion euros (S$8.1 billion), it said, down from 6.6 billion euros envisaged in the previous plan.
In a statement the bank said it would reduce its workforce by 18,200 people, including 6,000 people through the sale of its Ukraine business and a joint venture of its Pioneer asset management operations with Santander.
Job cuts will take place both in local and global corporate centres as well as in commercial banks in Italy, Germany, Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, the lender said.