The unions present at BBVA celebrated last week the success of the severance payments that managed to uproot the bank in its employment regulation file (ERE). The negotiations started badly, quite badly, so much so that it led the staff representatives to call a strike at the bank, something that had not happened in the sector for more than 30 years. But in the end, a pact was reached that led the unions to define it as “a very good agreement.”
The firm chaired by Carlos Torres initially proposed an ERE that affected 3,800 employees, with a quota of exits for those over 50 years of age. In the end, the cap practically remained symbolic and the number of exits was reduced by almost 1,000. And what seemed already buried, the early gold retirements of years ago, reappeared in the agreement reached between the entity and the unions. Employees between the ages of 50 and 52 can earn up to 320,000 euros.
The ERE signed will be more expensive than those carried out by Banco Santander in recent years, and puts pressure on the management of CaixaBank, an entity that also negotiates the exit, in this case of 7,400 employees. The unions have already been in charge, in fact, of warning the firm chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri about this.
The agreement also puts pressure on the future adjustments that other banks will address in the coming months, in the case of Sabadell, which has already confirmed that it will launch a new collective dismissal at the end of 2021, although it will not be carried out until the first quarter of 2022, and which can affect up to 1,800 workers, the same number of layoffs as that carried out at the beginning of this year. But it will not be the only one: other entities will once again give another turn of the screw to the number of employees they have on their templates.
According to several investment banks, there are still several offices to close in Spain. Between 5,000 and 8,000 more, according to the consensus of investment firms, which may represent the departure of another 30,000 employees, to which will be added another 5,000 from central services.
Jobs that will never be recovered.
The judges: “In the last five years, bank litigation is the most important quantitatively” and it has come to stay
But while the bank finds its new position, consumers continue to gain ground in their favor. According to the data compiled by the consumer association Asufin, 90% of the sentences handed down by the judges agree with the bank customer in their claims against the bank.
The problem is that bank litigation is collapsing the Spanish courts.
According to magistrate Gerardo Martínez Tristán, “in the last five years, bank litigation is the most important quantitatively and it will remain.” He assures that “the Spanish procedural system is not prepared to give an answer.”
The magistrate on leave of absence Agustín Azparren emphasizes that in Spain “we are on the podium of the OECD due to litigation, occupying third place”. As data it explains that we have 5,700 judges, when 11,000 would be needed for judicial protection to be effective.
Azparren is one of the judges who has contributed to the draft laws processed by the Ministry of Justice on banking litigation. The problem that the judges have detected in recent years is that the bank never ends litigating with the bank user. “The only possible solution is that financial institutions do not find litigation profitable,” says magistrate Juan Avello, in a webinar organized by Asufin to reflect on the endless bank litigation and the possible solutions proposed by Justice.
“Do not be afraid to say it, it is the purpose of any company: why is there litigation? Because with it they postpone payment and benefit from it; it must be prevented ”, he emphasizes.
“The litigation of the financial entities that we have been dragging is the product of bank malpractice: the entities are using the Justice as a cash criterion: it is cheap for the debtor to go to court because in four years he will not be forced to return the money ”, lawyers and consumer associations agree.
Avello, who is the author of a preliminary ruling question raised before the EU Court on whether it is reasonable for the user to have to pay the costs of the process in case of agreement with the entity, maintains that the question is not to debate the good or bad intentions of the banks not to finish litigating, but to seek solutions. He considers that a solution to avoid perpetuating lawsuits is to limit access to cassation, by way of “allowing the provincial hearings to inadmissible appeals, when issues have already been resolved or reiterated.”
Another solution he proposes is to impose the 20% surcharge on entities, “which we already have in the Insurance Law.”
According to a study by the CGPJ, the cost of a verbal procedure is set at 2,300 euros. “If a party that has repeatedly seen its claims rejected persists in its attitude, it must respond with this surcharge,” the magistrate sentenced.
Last week the conclusions of the latest study by the Compromiso y Transparencia Foundation were also known. This report analyzes the voluntary transparency on the website of the Ibex 35 companies regarding the contents related to their tax obligations.
Electric companies such as Repsol, Endesa and Red Eléctrica have proven to be the most transparent of all the Ibex firms. But if analyzed individually by sector, in the banking sector the entity that has obtained the best score has been Banco Sabadell, with 23 points (a year earlier, the now-defunct Bankia was considered the most transparent firm), and far exceeds the recorded score a year earlier, which rose to 18. Behind are
CaixaBank, with 21 points, and Santander.
Sabadell managed to place itself in the top positions in transparency regarding tax litigation information. In other concepts, it also managed to take the lead, which makes the bank chaired by Josep Oliu the most transparent bank in Spain. Our congratulations to Repsol, Endesa and Red Eléctrica, on the one hand, and Banco Sabadell, on the other, but I am sure that in the analysis corresponding to 2021 these and, in general, all the Ibex companies, will teach us that we can be even more transparent.