Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Read more
Sign In
May 14, 20215:07 AM PDTLast Updated a month ago
Caixabank staff protest Spanish layoffs as executives' pay divides shareholders
Jesús Aguado

3 minute read
A building is reflected on glass next to CaixaBank headquarters in Madrid, Spain May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera
Shareholders back salary proposal for Caixabank chairman
Spanish state votes against it
Labour minister says this is not the moment for layoffs
MADRID, May 14 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Caixabank (CABK.MC) employees gathered outside the Spanish lender's shareholder meeting in Valencia on Friday to protestits plans to cut nearly a fifth of its staff in Spain,while some retail investors complained about executives' pay.
Video released on social media by the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) union showed people, some wearing masks with faces of Caixabank executives, protesting outside Valencia's Palacio de Congresos, where the meeting was taking place.
Some were shouting: "They triple it (their salaries) and take it away from us."
A spokesman for the union said earlier this morning thathundreds had turned up to protest against the bank's layoff plans.
Shareholders nevertheless backed a hefty salary proposal for new Caixabank Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, while the Spanish state, which holds a 16% stake in the lender, voted against it, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
Caixabank did not provide details on how shareholders voted.
There have been other protests in Spain against plans by five Spanish banks to cut 18,000 jobs, which have coincided with government calls to rein in top bankers' pay.
Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said on Friday it "was not the moment for layoffs."
"We have to overcome this crisis together and undertake common efforts", she told reporters in the northwestern region of Galicia.
Caixabank, Spain's biggest domestic lender by assets after its purchase of rival Bankia, last month announced plans to cut around 8,000 jobs, one of the biggest staff reductions in Spanish history.
At Friday's annual meeting, shareholders gave their blessing to a fixed salary of 1.65 million euros ($2.00 million), plus a bonus of up to 200,000 euros, in 2021 for Goirigolzarri, who was Bankia's former chairman.
Before the merger, the fixed part of Goirigolzarri's salary was capped at 500,000 euros, while the bonus or variable remuneration could rise to a maximum of 300,000 euros. This was a precondition for the 22.4 billion euros in state-aid Bankia received at the height of a European debt crisis in 2012.
But now that Bankia has disappeared, the remuneration cap on Goirigolzarri has been removed.
Though the government and the Bank of Spain have no power to enforce cuts on fixed salaries of banks' executives, the matter has become sensitive for Caixabank.
On Thursday, the Bank of Spain called on banks to be "extremely prudent" regarding bankers' bonuses, while the Labour Ministry has called on Caixabank and BBVA (BBVA.MC), which also plans layoffs, to reduce the number of staff cuts, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
On Friday, Goirigolzarri said in a speech to shareholders at the meeting that "short-term workforce adjustments" were needed to preserve the "maximum number of sustainable jobs for the future".
($1 = 0.8255 euros)
Reporting by Jesús Aguado Editing by Ingrid Melander and Jane Merriman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page
Read Next
European shares strain for momentum even after Powell reassurance
4:17 AM PDT
Blinken says Nordstream 2 is Russian project that undermines Ukraine
4:01 AM PDT
Pardoned separatists leave prison demanding freedom for Catalonia
4:02 AM PDT
Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
Analysis: From game-changer to back-up: J&J's COVID vaccine struggles in Europe
4:01 AM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Europe · June 22, 2021 · 10:54 PM PDT
Cash loses its shine in pandemic but still king in Switzerland
Cash is still king in Switzerland, a Swiss National Bank study published on Wednesday found, although the wealthy country's citizens are increasingly turning to cards and apps for payments during the pandemic.
Britain's spy agency honours codebreaker Turing in giant artwork
1:57 AM PDT
Analysis: From game-changer to back-up: J&J's COVID vaccine struggles in Europe
4:01 AM PDT
Let's talk, says Spain, as jailed Catalan separatists are pardoned
June 22, 2021
UEFA prohibits 'rainbow' protest at Germany vs Hungary game
June 22, 2021
About Reuters
About Reuters
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Terms of Use
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved