Brazil’s largest bank, the government-run Banco do Brasil, will undergo a massive downsizing effort over the next two years as a way to save money in a stagnant economy. On Monday, the bank announced a voluntary retirement program with the aim of eliminating 9,300 jobs, or nearly 10 percent of the bank’s 109,000 workforce. The bank will close 31 regional offices and 402 out of its 4,900 branches. The bank will seek to upgrade Internet services as a way to fill any gaps caused by the downsizing. The plan is designed to save some R$3.8 billion per year in operating expenses. The move comes at a time of declining credit and rising arrears in the financial market. Most Brazilian banks have been forced to increase their provisioning against non-performing loans because of the economic downturn.
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