March 1, 2021

DealBook: ABN Amro to Cut 2,350 Positions

Gerrit Zalm, chief of ABN Amro.Lex Van Lieshout/European Pressphoto AgencyGerrit Zalm, the chief executive of ABN Amro, which has been working to improve its financial picture.

The ax falls again in finance.

ABN Amro, the nationalized Dutch lender, announced on Friday that it would cut 2,350 jobs over the next three to four years, as it continues to cut costs and improve its capital position.

The layoffs are the latest reductions in an industry hampered by weak earnings, regulatory uncertainty and a global economic malaise. HSBC is cutting 30,000 positions. Credit Suisse said it would eliminate 2,000 positions. And Lloyds Banking Group is cutting 15,000 jobs.

The news comes as ABN Amro steadily improves its financial picture. On Friday, the bank announced profit of $1.25 billion for the first half of the year, compared with a loss of $1.4 billion last year. It also cut its cost structure. Expenses now stand at 63 percent of income, down from 75 percent a year ago.

But ABN Amro warned that the rest of the year could be rocky. Gerrit Zalm, the chairman of ABN Amro, pointed to the sovereign debt crisis as a potential drag on future earnings, adding that he expected “impairments to be somewhat higher in the second half and pressure on interest margins to increase.”

“The impact of the government debt concerns on the global economy is still unclear,” Mr. Zalm said in a statement. “Though our resilient businesses and strong capital base put us in a good position, we remain cautious. Our first-half 2011 results should therefore not be extrapolated to the remainder of the year.”

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