Millennium boss says cutting staff was tough

 In Banks, News

Miguel Maya, the CEO of bank Millennium bcp said cutting staff was “perhaps the toughest process” that he has had to deal with in his professional life.

In an interview with business daily Negócios, the banker said that the bank was “creating the conditions whereby it could again pay staff adequate salaries”.
In a podcast which is part of a series called “Conversations with CEOs” Maya said that it “took a lot of courage to take the decision (to make staff redundant) at the right time”.
Miguel Maya explained that the bank had been less profitable in recent years because of investments in the restructuring process and changes the bank had to make”.
“We had thought of reducing staff in significant numbers in 2020 but we didn’t. In 2020 we realised that there was so much uncertainty (because of the pandemic) that we had a duty to protect staff. We only cut staff in 2021, and did so when economic activity was starting to recover”, said the banker.
The Millennium CEO also said there was some way to go regarding the bank’s current salaries policy. “I am not satisfied because I think we should pay our staff better and create more career opportunities”, said Miguel Maya, adding “if we want to have a secure future, we have to be profitable first, and then distribute that profitability. (in terms of higher salaries and bonuses)
In the podcast, Miguel Maya also left a message to the government about what he thought it needed to do to counter the low salaries model in Portugal.
“What I’d like to see from this or any other government is for it to create the right conditions for it to be profitable and not have such high context (operational expenses and taxes) costs”.
“This is the only way that will enable companies to pay better salaries and retain talent”, he added.