Employees at BNL bank, the Italian branch of French banking giant BNP Paribas on Monday, December 27th, participated in a strike to protest back office and IT staff cuts.
The protests impacted operations at several branches, with unions terming the industrial activity a success, Reuters reports.
The protest, which was the first since the 1900s, reportedly saw 29.8% of the staff participate.
“The bank’s internal offices were completely deserted and remained closed as did most branches <…>In such context, which is also characterized by year-end holidays, BNL has nevertheless ensured business continuity by strengthening the digital channel to support the physical channel,” Fabi, First-Cisl, Fisac-Cgil, Ulica and Unison said in a joint statement.
The protest comes after BNL resolved to outsource IT and back-office services, impacting 900 out of 11,500 employees in its branches across Italy.
At the same time, banking unions have also raised concerns with BNL’s sale to Worldline, an 80% stake in the Axapta Italy card payment processing business.
The protest comes amid ongoing expansion by the bank to meet different clients’ needs. For instance, in January, BNL teamed up with Tink, a Swedish open banking platform provider, to launch a multi-banking service.
The partnership aims to offer multi banking services to its customers, helping them manage their money by having an overview of their finances held with different banks in a central place.
Furthermore, the bank’s parent owner BNP Paribas is moving forward to establish itself in the European market by lining up several products. The Financial Times reports that BNP seeks to make forays in investment banking both across Europe and globally. Additionally, the platform aims to take up an advisory role on stock market listings.