The group has reviewed all of its processes in order to reduce the complexity with which things are done and to promote greater efficiency, the idea being to standardise processes across the board. The move will eliminate 165 jobs, i.e. approximately 9% of the workforce, according to the bank.
Management is counting on the group’s current personnel turnover--currently 175 jobs per year on average--to make this adjustment smoothly. In other words, the bank would like some of the employees potentially affected to take some of the 100 positions currently open, most of which are commercial functions related to accelerating business development. The training budget has been increased significantly to achieve this.
“We believe that we will be able to mitigate the impact of this job reduction on our staff, notably through internal mobility and reinforced support for career management. We cannot therefore give a precise figure for the impact on staff today, but it will certainly be less than the figure of 165 posts,” says the bank.
Supposedly limited impact in Luxembourg
The impact on Luxembourg is currently unknown. Laurent Mertz (Aleba), president of the bank’s staff delegation in Luxembourg, expects to have details on this subject by the end of the week. He expects “a limited and manageable social impact in Luxembourg” and says he is, “personally, not overly concerned”. “The staff delegation has already demanded that a plan be put in place to maintain employment,” he adds, “with the usual measures of early retirement, support for internal mobility or external retraining, training and skills development.”
The announcement brought back old rumours, like that of the sale of the bank’s current headquarters and the move to a new building that would accommodate a maximum of 370 people--far fewer than the 690 occupied by the bank in Luxembourg at the end of 2022, according to Statec data.
It’s a rumour that has been firmly denied by the bank, and a hypothesis that Mertz says he has not heard of.
A difficult profitability
The last few years have been complicated for Quintet, which has since 2018 suffered numerous losses: €110.2m in 2021, €20.30m in 2020 and €43.7m in 2019. These losses are attributed to the development plan launched in 2019 and the fiasco of opening a subsidiary in Switzerland in 2020, which will have cost €70m and left 85 people out of work.
Although the bank is growing--its client assets increased by 14% in 2021--it is not managing to be profitable. But it still benefits from the support of its shareholder, Precision Capital, which since the takeover in 2012 has injected €350m into the bank, including €60m in 2021.
For any worried shareholders: the 2022 financial year seems to have finally been profitable for Quintet, according to sources close to the accounts. The figures will, as usual, be officially unveiled in the spring.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.