Thursday, December 20, 2012

Irish Banks May Need More Than Planned 6,000 Job Cuts, IMF Says

Ireland’s three surviving domestic banks may need to cut more than 6,000 jobs already planned as they struggle to return to profit, the International Monetary Fund said.

Allied Irish Banks Plc, Bank of Ireland Plc and Permanent TSB Group Holdings (IPM) Plc, based in Dublin, are lowering staff numbers after a real estate bubble burst in 2008. The lenders are aiming to reduce the 2011 combined job workforce of 30,000 by a fifth, the Washington-based fund said in a report on the nation’s bailout program yesterday.

Current plans “may still be insufficient,” the IMF said, adding costs for the banks are challenging. Ireland was forced to seek an international rescue in 2010, as its financial system came close to collapse. As the government seeks to exit the bailout program at the end of 2013, it’s pushing European leaders to deliver on pledges to improve the sustainability of its program.

“Given Ireland’s high public and private debt levels and uncertain growth prospects, inadequate or delayed delivery on these commitments pose a significant risk that recently started market access could be curtailed,” the IMF said. That could hinder “an exit from official financing at the end of 2013.” Read more >>

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