AstroBank completes staff downsizing

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AstroBank has completed its staff restructuring plan after the second phase of a voluntary exit scheme, reducing the total number of employees at the bank to the targeted 400.

The fourth largest lender in Cyprus set out at the end of 2020 to reduce its employees from 540 to 400.

The first scheme saw 110 employees push the exit button in early 2021, with another 30 deciding to leave the bank in the second round launched this month.

According to sources, during the second phase of the exit scheme, more than the targeted 30 employees had opted out, but the bank decided to stick to the plan to run its operations with 400 staff.

The average compensation package offered to employees was €150,000.

A majority received the highest possible compensation of €200,000, while a smaller percentage will walk away with a sum of between €130,000 to €160,000.

Total cost of the exit schemes amounts to €5 mln.

According to legislation recently approved by the House, employees leaving the bank are entitled to unemployment benefits for six months.

The exit scheme sees former employees maintain their medical coverage for two years from the date they leave the bank or up to the completion of their 65th birthday, whichever comes first.

The provision of medical care will also cover any dependents.

Those who left voluntarily will retain their credit facilities.

AstroBank posted profits for a second year in May, as management eyes on making its presence felt in the financial sector.

For 2022, AstroBank posted a net income of €12.2 mln compared to €3.3 mln in 2021 and losses of €18.1 mln the year before.

“AstroBank remains committed to quality and efficient delivery of its services to its corporate and retail clients fully utilising the functionalities allowed by digital transformation,” CEO Aristidis Vourakis said.

“In the fourth quarter of 2023, some new initiatives will be in production, including a new mobile app and internet-based digital channel, as well as full digitisation of the bank’s card offerings.

“Those initiatives accompany a range of digitisation and integration of internal processes releasing client facing capacity, with the integrated new digital platforms and its 15 location-strong network AstroBank aims to play a key role in the Cyprus banking sector.”