Union: Itaú Unibanco signs internal reassignment agreement to avoid layoffs

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The management of merging Brazilian banks Itaú (NYSE: ITU) and Unibanco (NYSE: UBB) have signed an agreement to use internal reassignments within the company in order to avoid layoffs, the São Paulo regional bank employees union said in a statement. The banks also said the layoffs of approximately 100 employees last month in their investment and brokerage units were motivated by market conditions rather than by the merger, and that those let go from the units would be prioritized for rehire, if conditions improve, the statement said. There are no other major layoffs planned at this point, the statement said. Both the union and Itaú Unibanco, however, are hoping to take advantage of 5,000-10,000 upcoming retirements to prevent the need for further layoffs, local news agency Agência Estado quoted union president Luiz Cláudio Marcolino as saying. Itaú Unibanco got approval for its merger from central bank BCB last month and is now Brazil's largest bank in terms of total assets, with 633bn reais at end-2008, up 42% from their combined assets at end-2007.

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