Several ministers of the Executive of Pedro Sánchez have come out to criticize the announcement of thousands of dismissals by financial entities. The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, has conveyed to the Bank of Spain her concern about the salaries and bonuses of senior banking executives, especially in a scenario marked by the strong adjustments in the sector’s workforce, and has pointed out that it is the supervisor who has a role to play in the first place to channel the process in the most positive way for the economy in general.
BBVA proposes 3,800 layoffs to unions in their first major ERE and the closure of 530 branches
“I believe that the salaries and bonuses of bank executives should be aligned with the evolution of the sector and the economy as a whole,” he said in a videoconference with foreign correspondents, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.
This Thursday it was known that the direction of BBVA has proposed the dismissal of 3,798 people and the closure of 530 branches. BBVA’s dismissals are in addition to the ERE also announced this week by CaixaBank, which entails the dismissal of 8,291 workers and the closure of 1,534 branches.
This is a message similar to the one that he offered on Wednesday in statements to the media after the control session of the Executive in Congress, when he assured that for years the Government has been actively working on alternatives to avoid dismissals and described the high levels as “unacceptable”. salaries and bonuses charged by bank managers, which in his opinion “do not correspond at all” with the economic situation of the country, especially in entities that are announcing heavy cuts in personnel and office closures.
Sources from the Ministry of Economy consulted by Europa Press confirm that, speaking of salaries and employment adjustments, Calviño has acknowledged to foreign media that the Government has transferred this concern to the Bank of Spain and has said that it will use the instruments available to it to manage the process in the best way.
“We have expressed this concern to the Bank of Spain and we are going to use the instruments at our disposal to try to channel this process in the best possible way for economic evolution. We will have to use the different instruments and, first of all, I believe that the Bank of Spain as supervisor of the sector has a role to play in directing this process in the most positive way from the point of view of its impact on the general economy of our country, “said Calviño.
Although the Vice President of Economic Affairs transfers responsibility to the supervisory body, it is also true that the UGT and CCOO unions have asked the Government to take action to reduce layoffs, especially at Caixabank, where the State has a 16% stake.
The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, said a month ago in an interview with the newspaper El Mundo that the layoffs were “inevitable” because “there is a certain excess capacity” so new mergers in the financial sector cannot be ruled out. Although he also added that “it is an objective of public policies to guarantee access to financial services” since the reduction of branches could “generate some risks of exclusion.”
“These are not times” for layoffs
The third vice president of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, said this Thursday that “these are not times” for “proposals” such as the layoffs announced in recent weeks by several banks and has remarked that “everyone should row in a single address “to ensure the” maintenance of employment. ”
“I believe that these are not the times for these approaches. It seems to me that the whole country, the whole of Europe is suffering and the whole world must row in a single direction, which is to maintain employment,” he said in statements to the media in Brussels before meeting with the economic vice-president of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis.
“I have to tell you that I believe that in this case, if you allow me on behalf of United We Can, for months we have anticipated certain risks in the merger of Bankia (with Caixabank) that have to do with employment and that unfortunately these days were given to know “, he stressed.
Public aid to banking
For his part, the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, has stated that financial entities such as CaixaBank and BBVA should take into account the public aid they received in the previous crisis before undertaking an ERE.
“The leaders of financial institutions must be aware of the extent to which the sector has been protected to avoid greater evils, and in this situation that reflection seems particularly relevant to me (…) That reflection should inspire any business decision,” he stressed .
Escrivá has reminded financial institutions that their “rescue” was not only manifested through the cleaning of their balance sheets, but also with a series of public aid that they should take into account when announcing staff adjustments.
The minister trusts that these EREs are the last to occur within the framework of an old model of employment adjustments that must be transformed and give way to internal flexibility mechanisms inspired by current temporary employment regulation files (ERTE), such as and as it is contemplated in the Recovery Plan.
These mechanisms, he stressed, are more effective in addressing business transformation processes, more gradual and allow orderly restructuring in which links with the company are maintained.