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Greece's Eurobank says more than 10 percent of staff take voluntary redundancy

A customer leaves a Eurobank branch in Athens April 10, 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis
A customer leaves a Eurobank branch in Athens April 10, 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's third-largest lender Eurobank shed more than 10 percent of its workforce through a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at cutting costs and making it fit for privatization, an official at the bank said on Monday.

"About 1,100 signed up for the scheme that closed last week, balanced among the branch network and the central administration," said the official, declining to be named. "The reduction in payroll costs will be 55 million euros annually."

Eurobank employees had until November 15 to decide whether to accept the deal, which included a compensation package sized depending on employees' years of service. The bank initially aimed to cut at least 700 jobs.

Voluntary exit schemes are the usual way through which big Greek firms reduce staff. Piraeus Bank , Greece's second-biggest lender, shed about a tenth of its workers in September.

Eurobank is 95-percent owned by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), a bank rescue vehicle funded from the country's EU/IMF bailout, which recapitalized the country's top four banks earlier this year.

The HFSF fund aims to return Eurobank to the private sector by March of next year and the bank has set in motion procedures to boost its capital by about 2 billion euros ($2.71 billion)via an offering of new shares to strategic investors.

Barclays, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are the global coordinators for the transaction.

($1 = 0.7394 Euro)

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by G Crosse)

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