June 9, 2020 / 10:00 PM / a month ago

Santander Brasil to lay off 20% of workforce in Brazil amid COVID-19, paper says

SAO PAULO, June 9 (Reuters) - Banco Santander Brasil SA , one of Brazil's top lenders, has started to lay off employees as part of a 20% cut in its workforce, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Tuesday.

The reductions come more than two months after the Brazilian unit of Spain's Banco Santander SA promised to not fire its roughly 47,000 workers "amid the most critical period" of the coronavirus outbreak.

Santander Brasil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the bank told Folha that its compromise to avoid layoffs was valid for 60 days only.

The decision to cut one-fifth of all jobs was taken last week, the newspaper reported, adding that according to local unions at least 15 people were fired on Friday.

In March, Santander Brasil announced plans to furlough part of its workforce for 15 days in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro given the closure of some branches in both cities due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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