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UniCredit Agrees with Unions on Voluntary Retirement Scheme

MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Italy's UniCredit has agreed with Italian unions to offer a voluntary early retirement scheme to 510 employees, the departures partly offset by 255 new hires, the First Cisl banking union said on Wednesday.

Last year, UniCredit signed an accord with unions and booked 239 million euros ($262 million) in charges to fund voluntary exits to be replaced by younger hires, with cost-cutting and staff renewal a key plank of Chief Executive Andrea Orcel's strategy.

Italy's second-biggest bank had planned to cut around 800 jobs, a figure it then raised to 925, but it was unable to meet a further 1,000 requests from staff wanting to leave, a source had said earlier this year.

In Italy, banks lay off staff through a voluntary scheme funded by individual lenders, which allows employees to retire early and receive up to 80-90% of their salary until they qualify for a state pension.

A spokesman for UniCredit confirmed the agreement.

In the case of UniCredit, the early retirement scheme is open to staff who would reach pension age before 2030.

Under the agreement, UniCredit is open to accepting up to a further 200 requests from employees wishing to leave the bank and committed to an additional 169 hires as part of the organic turnover of employees with apprenticeship contracts.

UniCredit had 33,212 employees in Italy as of Sept. 30.

($1 = 0.9131 euros)

Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro Editing by Keith Weir

Source: Reuters

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