The number of bank employees in Finland is declining as bank branches continue to close their doors. Over the past 18 months more than 2,000 bank employees have lost their jobs
The banking industry is undergoing an upheaval as profitability and demand for services weaken. The Helsinki branch of the Suupohja savings bank was recently merged with branches in Tikkurila and Vantaa locations. In this case, while the branch network is being pruned, staffing levels have remained intact.
However, the situation is not as rosy in other banks. According to information gathered by Yle, employee numbers in 10 banking groups would have declined by some 2,200 by the end of this year. The biggest staffing changes have occurred in OP-Phojola, Nordea and Danske Bank, formerly Sampo Bank.
Piia-Noora Kauppi, head of the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, said that the major upheavals may have come to an end.
Same workers handling different tasks
“I don’t believe that major changes will take place in the number of financial services employees. To some extent it is a question of the same workers discharging banking, investment and insurance services, and in this way increasing efficiency,” Kauppi explained.
The industry has also been targeting efficiency by cutting back on its branch network. About 100 offices have been shuttered in the same year-and-a-half period.
The contractions have been driven by low interest rates that have significantly eroded bank revenues. Meanwhile bank regulation has increased costs and customers have abandoned brick and mortar offices for online and smartphone service points.