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GREECE: New Postbank plans to slash wage bill by 30%.

The new bank that emerged from the breakup of Greece's troubled Hellenic Postbank will initially hire all of the old lender's staff but offer voluntary redundancies as it tries to cut payroll costs by 30%, its management said on Saturday.

Greece said on Friday it would split Hellenic Postbank into "good" and "bad" parts and continue to run the healthy business as a stand-alone entity until a buyer was found.

The bank's management said after a meeting on Saturday with union representatives that a voluntary redundancy scheme to shed some of the 3,200 employees would be launched.

The bank did not offer further details on how it planned to cut its payroll bill by 30% but said it would try to protect its lowest paid workers.

A decision on the future of Postbank, which is 44% government-owned, had been demanded by Greece's international lenders, the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, to unlock further bailout funds for the debt-laden country.

The new bank, where the sound assets and all deposits of the troubled lender will be transferred, will operate under the name New Hellenic Postbank while the "bad" part will be liquidated.

Battered by rising bad debts and losses from government bond writedowns, Greek banks have been consolidating to cope with a deep recession and regain access to wholesale funding markets.

Efforts at finding a buyer for Postbank failed when three of the country's biggest banks withdrew from the race last week, leaving authorities no choice but to split the bank in two.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Jan 21, 2013
Words:269
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