May 14, 2013 12:20 PM EDT

Dutch private bank to cut workforce by 22 pct in reorganisation

Dutch private bank Van Lanschot announced more job cuts, reducing its headcount by nearly a quarter in total in the next two years, and said it would cut its corporate loan book by half as recession in the Netherlands led to higher bad debts.

Van Lanschot, whose new Chief Executive Karl Guha ordered a strategic review at the start of the year, said it expects further job losses in the longer term to stem from performance management and natural attrition.

The private bank, which mainly focuses on wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and Belgium, swung to a net loss of 155.4 million euros ($202 million) last year due to impairment on goodwill as well as one-off charges, from a 2011 net profit of 43.1 million euros.

It had already planned to cut 300 jobs by 2014 and at the end of 2012 reported it had cut 147 jobs. The new round brings the total to just over 400 - or 22 percent - out of about 1,850 full-time positions.

It said the job reduction programme is expected to cost 20 million euros.

In February, Dutch lender ING said it would cut 2,400 jobs in the Netherlands and Belgium, bringing lay-offs announced over the previous 15 months to 7,500 - or roughly 9 percent of its workforce at the end of December.

Rabobank said at the end of February it would cut 3,000 jobs this year and next, and scale back remuneration packages in order to cut costs.

The bank said in a statement it would reduce lending to clients when there was no link to private banking, leading to a halving of the corporate loan book's risk-weighted assets to about 2.2 billion euros in the next five years. ($1 = 0.7703 euros)

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