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Raiffeisen Bank Announces Downsizing in Slovenia

Maribor/Ljubljana, 16 October (STA) - The Slovenian subsidiary of Austria's Raiffeisen Bank has announced it will reduce its scope of operations. The gradual adjustment will involve layoffs, which could affect half of the bank's workforce, according to unofficial sources.

The business daily Finance quoted on Tuesday unofficial sources as announcing the sacking of around 150 of what are presently 326 Raiffeisen employees in the country. The first redundancies at the bank, which recorded a EUR 5.5m loss last year, were allegedly already seen this spring.

The bank's representatives told the STA today that move was a result of the competitive environment in Slovenia and an optimisation in the distribution of funds within the Raiffeisen group. Funds will be reduced across a longer period.

They confirmed that this would also involve layoffs, but would not provide any details, saying that talks with local authorities and employees were still under way.

Raiffeisen Banka plans to keep all of its present 17 branch offices in Slovenia, saying that service to customers would not be disrupted.

"Raiffeisen Banka in Slovenia will remain part of the Raiffeisen group. We are staying in the country...and continuing with normal operations...The deposits also continue to be safe, there are no changes here," the Maribor-based bank said.

It added that Slovenia is a small and relatively saturated banking market, while Raiffeisen had a limited potential, which had made it the no. 10 bank on this market.

This situation is specific within the group, which is why the measures are specific for the Slovenian market, the bank said, explaining that the funds of the Slovenian subsidiary accounted for around 1% of the group's total funds.

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