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Spain's Santander to lay off 3,572 and close 1,033 branches

MADRID, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Santander has reached agreement with unions to lay off 3,572 employees and close 1,033 branches in Spain as part of a sweeping cost-cutting plan, a spokesman for the bank said on Wednesday.

The cuts equate to about 12% of Santander’s workforce in its home market and nearly a third of its branches.

A further 1,500 workers will be transferred to other positions within the company, Santander said.

Hit by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, ultra-low interest rates in the euro zone and a shift by customers towards online banking, Spanish lenders have been looking to rein in excess costs. (Reporting by Nathan Allen Editing by David Goodman )

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