Spain's largest bank Santander is set to cut more than 3,000 jobs following a merger with its Banesto subsidiary.
As part of the fusion, which was announced in December 2012, the bank will close 700 branches to cut long-term costs. The job cuts will reportedly be made through early retirements, incentivized departures and transfers to other units of the group.
Official talks between Santander and Spanish banking unions have been scheduled to open on January 9, the same day Spanish lender Bankia should begin talks with the unions over previously announced plans to lay-off 6,000 of its staff.
The country's banking unions estimate 12,000 job losses this year in the financial sector alone. The eurozone aid Spain received to restore its financial system will mainly go to nationalized lenders including Bankia.
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