Resona Holdings Inc. plans to ask staff to take early retirement from January in an effort to accelerate its business restructuring program, sources close to the company said Saturday.

By the end of March, the troubled banking group plans to reduce its total workforce by about 2,700 — about 14 percent of its total workforce at the end of March this year — including 1,500 jobs through early retirement.

The remainder will be achieved by reducing the number of new recruits and through normal retirements, they said.

The latest plan is part of the group’s efforts to accelerate improvements to its revenue base following the government’s injection of 1.96 trillion yen in public funds into Resona Bank, the core bank of the group, earlier this year to shore up its capital base.

Under the current business restructuring plan, the Resona group expects to cut its workforce to 16,800 by the end of March 2005, from 19,300 as of the end of March this year.

With the early retirement proposal, the group now aims to achieve its personnel reduction plan a year earlier and cut an additional 200 personnel, bringing its total workforce at the end of next March to 16,600, the sources said.

The group plans to solicit early retirement from employees aged 40 or older, with a reduction of about 1,000 personnel at Resona Bank and a maximum of 500 staff at Kinki Osaka Bank, the sources said.

The group will finalize details of the plan in negotiations between management and labor, according to the sources.

Resona Holdings plans to incorporate the latest plan into an additional business restructuring plan it will submit to the Financial Services Agency next month, the sources said.

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