Italian bank UniCredit has announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs by 2008.
The cuts are expected to be made in the bank’s central and eastern European operations and are a part of an efficiency drive announced by UniCredit chief executive Alessandro Profumo.
The bank was one of the first to take advantage of the potential for growth in central and eastern Europe when it acquired German bank HVB last year.
It will also be hiring 5,000 new staff, mostly in Russia.
UniCredit is hoping to make more efficiencies by employing eastern European workers. It said an IT employee in Italy would cost £53,000 a year compared to £17,000 in Poland.