Press Release

Job cuts at PostFinance

PostFinance is undergoing fundamental change: society – and with it, banking – is becoming increasingly digital, bringing about fundamental changes in customers’ needs and behaviour. At the same time, PostFinance is suffering badly from the current negative interest rate environment due to the ban on issuing its own loans and mortgages. In order to counter margin erosion and the associated decline in revenue, the financial service provider is planning measures in various business units to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This would lead to a reduction of up to 500 full-time positions by the end of 2020, two thirds of which could be absorbed by natural staff turnover. New positions will also be created in parallel.

PostFinance operates in an extremely challenging market environment. The digital revolution is progressing at a rapid rate in the banking industry. Customer behaviour is changing as a result, and new competitors from other industries and countries are attempting to gain a foothold in payment transactions and retail banking. At the same time, margins are gradually collapsing in the current negative interest rate environment, particularly due to the ban on issuing loans and mortgages. This is leading to a significant decline in revenue from interest operations. To offset this negative development, at least in part, in the next few years PostFinance is planning to introduce various measures to increase efficiency, consistently exploit savings potential and hence reduce costs.

Job cuts by the end of 2020

By the end of 2020, PostFinance will be able to manage with fewer employees than today due to the automation and digitization of processes, the realignment of private and business customer advisory services, and the outsourcing of business activities. This means that in the next two and a half years – subject to a consultation process – 500 full-time positions will be cut. Most of these should be absorbed by natural staff turnover, the expiry of temporary employment contracts and (early) retirement. “We will not be able to avoid redundancies as well. This is a painful decision, but it is unavoidable if we are to ensure the long-term competitivity and successful continuity of PostFinance. This is also clear from the major decline in the result for the first quarter of 2018. “Doing nothing is not an option, as this negative trend will continue”, explains CEO Hansruedi Köng.

2018 consultation process

A consultation process will be necessary in various units due to the planned job cuts. This will give the employees affected the opportunity to submit proposals as to how job losses could be avoided, limited in number or how the consequences of job losses could be mitigated. The PostFinance Executive Board will constantly check the proposals received and make a final decision in August on whether and to what extent to implement the intended measures.

PostFinance recognizes its social responsibility

PostFinance is aware that these changes could cause uncertainty and even fears, and that it has a major social responsibility as a company, especially in such difficult times. It takes this role seriously. As not all employees are affected by the changes to the same extent, different types of individual support have been offered to members of staff to help them though this difficult period. In June, various events are taking place throughout Switzerland during which the Executive Board will inform all members of staff in detail about the effects of the planned job cuts. Anyone who is directly affected will be provided with close support from HR in order to pinpoint prospects and find socially acceptable solutions.

Transformation into a digital powerhouse

PostFinance is undergoing fundamental change. With the new banking software introduced at Easter 2018 as the cornerstone, it is transforming itself from a traditional financial service provider into a digital powerhouse, and wants to become Switzerland’s leading bank by the end of 2020. Job cuts are not the only changes which will happen in the next few years. The company will also invest around 250 million francs per year in the redesign and development of its business. Digital investments are being expanded, for instance, and PostFinance is tapping into new sources of income that do not depend on interest rate levels. PostFinance will create new jobs in these areas in future. Wherever possible, new positions will be filled by current employees.

Contact

Reto Kormann
Media Spokesperson
079 252 02 52