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National Bank of Greece to slash 15 percent of workforce

  • Greece's biggest lender National Bank of Greece (NBG) announced on Wednesday it would cut up to 2,000 jobs, equal to around 15 percent of its workforce.

    The move comes in a bid to generate savings from its acquisition of smaller rival Eurobank.

    The cuts will affect employees that are nearing retirement and will be carried out on a voluntary basis.

    They will be completed by March and will only relate to National Bank employees, according to a bank executive who declined to be named.

    In October, NBG offered to buy Eurobank to create the country's biggest lender to help the banking industry cope with ramifications of the country's debt crisis.

    As part of the deal, NBG is offering 58 new shares for every 100 shares of Eurobank. The voluntary tender offer runs from January 11 to February 15.

    In recent months, Greece's banks have come under intense pressure to merge after suffering significant losses from a sovereign debt restructuring last year as well as heavy deposit withdrawals and rising bad loans.

    As the banks are short of cash, they have little choice but to swap shares in order to complete deals.

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