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19th June, 2019

Fewer bank branches, more staff

The number of bank branches stood at 2,007 at the end of March, a 15.9% drop from 2,387 one year earlier, according to recent figures released by the MNB.

The number of branches was near 2,800 in 2016, down from 3,200 in early 2014.

Several factors have contributed to the decline in the number of branches in recent years: as online services develop quickly, fewer clients go to branches for personal contact. As operating branches is rather costly for banks, financial institutions regularly monitor their own branch network.

Cost-cutting programmes trim the number of branches. Not only the number of branches drop but also their sales activities are reshaped: paper-based administration is gradually replaced by automatic processing, while consulting gets more weight.

Despite this, the number of employees working for banks was 0.8% higher in the first quarter than one year earlier, at 39,500.

The nine largest banks have a combined total of 1,050 vacancies.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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