Prague - The global banking sector is facing some serious troubles.
Large banks all over the world will lay off 100,000 employees this year, estimates Bloomberg. This would be the largest jobs-cutting in the global banking sector since 2008, when in total 192,000 bank employees were laid off.
For example, HSBC announced it will shed as much as 30,000 jobs, which is the second largest one-time jobs-cutting measure in the banking sector since Bank of America laid off 35,000 in 2008.
However, the Czech Republic's four largest banks plan no layoffs. During the 2008/9 crash, they managed to maintain good financial health, and according to the newest stress-test conducted last week by the Czech central bank, they still appear to be in a good shape.
"Česká spořitelna (Czech saving bank) plans no such step," the bank's spokesman Jan Holinka said to Aktualne.cz. Česká spořitelna is the Czech Republic's largest bank in terms of total assets value (CZK 935bil, or EUR 38.2bil). In January 2011, the bank laid off 550 employees and says its current staff is adequate to its necessities.
Komerční banka (Commercial bank) states its goal is to maintain its current number of employees.
ČSOB and UniCredit Bank, the remaining two members of the Czech banking sector's "big four", have even increased the number of their employees by tens this year.
However, Raiffeissenbank has already hired hundreds. "This year and the next, we want to open 40 new local branches and hire several hundreds of new employees. In the first half of 2011, we have opened 11 new branches. In the last year, the number of the bank's employees has increased by more than 400," said Lubor Žalman, the CEO of the Czech Raiffeissenbank.
The Czech banking sector thus appears to be going against the global trend of layoffs which can very well stretch into the next year. For example, Bank of America plans to lay off 3,500 employees, but this year it will shed "only" 1,575 jobs.
Large banks' troubles started when the debt scare in the US and Europe made their stocks fall. The prospect of wide-spread budget-cuts and years of economic stagnation on the both sides of the Atlantic Ocena makes banks a less attractive investment opportunity than before.