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Brazil's Itau laying off staff in car loan unit, union says

·1 min read

SAO PAULO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's largest lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA has laid off at least 130 employees in its car loan unit, according to a statement by a bank employees union on its website.

The union added Itau has also fired an undisclosed number of workers located at bank branches.

Itau, which ended June with roughly 95,000 employees, pledged not to cut any jobs for an unspecified period of time during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to Reuters, Itau said it resumed in September both hirings and layoffs, which had both been halted since the pandemic slammed Brazil in March. The bank did not disclose any numbers.

As banks worldwide tighten their belts bracing for recession and loan losses stemming from the virus outbreak, analysts said lenders will eye layoffs as a measure, as Reuters had reported.

Itau is considering returning some rented buildings and further shrinking its branch network as it seeks a nominal reduction in operating expenses this year and next, Chief Financial Officer Milton Maluhy said in August.

Besides Itau, Banco Santander Brasil SA also laid off some workers in June. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Gregorio)