290 jobs to go as Danske Bank scales back operations

Up to 290 jobs look likely to be lost at Danske Bank as a result of the financial institution’s decision to significantly scale back its Irish operation.

As well as the 150 jobs to be lost through the closure of its personal banking function, the bank’s head of corporate and institutional banking, Terry Browne, confirmed a further 140 in its non-core functions will also be let go over time, though he said there was no timeline for that happening.

That will mean just 60 of the bank’s current 350 staff will remain when the rationalisation is complete.

They will work with the bank’s corporate and institutional clients, an area in which Danske said it still has a “competitive edge”.

As well as closing its personal banking business, Danske, which recorded losses before tax of €31.4m in the first nine months of this year, is also stopping the sale of business banking products to new customers.

Gerry Mallon, Danske’s head of operations in Britain and Ireland, said the decision regarding the personal and business banking divisions was necessary to stem the losses that continue to accrue in those units.

“Against the backdrop of the difficult economic and trading environment in Ireland, the bank has been unable to re-establish a sustainable retail banking business model,” he said.

Mr Mallon said existing personal customers would not see a change until the first half of next year.

“We are writing to customers in the coming weeks and will be working with them to minimise the impact on their day to day banking needs,” he said.

The bank said it will continue to support existing business customers for existing services and working capital requirements and said customer deposits will be repaid in full.

Finance union IBOA said the move would mean compulsory redundancy for many staff, and said the workers were being used as “scapegoats for very bad management decisions”.

IBOA said it would enter discussions with the bank in an effort to ensure any redundancies are implemented on a voluntary basis and would also focus on the terms of redundancy compensation.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath called on the Government to bring forward a White Paper on banking competition.

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