Butterfield Bank sends home workers

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Thursday March 31, 2011 – Twenty-five Butterfield Bank employees in Bermuda were made redundant as part of a restructuring exercise on what the top executive described as “a very painful day for the bank”.

The Bank said yesterday the positions were made redundant “as a consequence of internal reorganization”.

“Roles in several departments were affected. Customer services will not be impacted by the changes announced,” it said.

Local media reports indicate that from security guards to senior personnel were among those sent home.

The job cuts come just over a month after Bermuda’s oldest and second largest bank announced losses in excess of US$200 million for the second consecutive year. It posted a loss of US$207.6 million in 2010, while in 2009 the bank lost US$213.4 million.

Chief Executive Officer Brad Kopp said the layoffs yesterday were painful but it had to be done.

“This is a bank that prides itself on its long-term employees. It’s a like a family so this has been very difficult,” he told the Royal Gazette newspaper.

“Letting people go in Bermuda was a last resort for us, as we know it’s a very difficult economy right now.”

Kopp told the newspaper that because the bank understood the difficulties the laid off workers would face, it had been very generous in its redundancy packages and gave even more than what the law requires.

He said that included financial compensation, health benefits for six months, assistance in trying to find a new job and assistance for those who had mortgages.

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