Butterfield Bank went from 664 employees in Bermuda in 2011 and 615 in 2012. *iStock photo
Butterfield Bank went from 664 employees in Bermuda in 2011 and 615 in 2012. *iStock photo

Butterfield Bank reduced the number of staff in Bermuda by just over seven percent.

The Bank had 664 employees in December 2011 and 615 a year later.

Worldwide, the total number of employees employed by Butterfield decreased by 175, but that also included 115 staff in a subsidiary in Barbados which was sold.

The amount of salaries and wages paid to staff in Bermuda decreased by $7.7 million from $145.1 million to $137.4 million.

Brendan McDonagh, CEO and chairman for Butterfield, said that’s all related to the amount of customer activity.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “There is no doubt the market place, however you define that, is quiet in Bermuda. All businesses are impacted one way or another. If we have less demands for loans or less demand for x, or less demand for y, then the people involved in that activity, we need less of them. So there is some correlation to a reduction in economic activity with a reduction in the workforce.

The CEO said with the introduction of improved systems and efficiencies “we are able to have a higher level of productivity.

“That either means the same amount of people doing more or less people doing the same amount. Again, against the back drop of less economic activity, it tends to be the latter.”

He said the bank has mainly address the staffing issue through natural attrition but it has also twice offered early retirement to employees.

“In the fourth quarter we had a voluntary early retirement programme.

“It was entirely up to the employees if they wished to take advantage of the package that has been offered and as a result, 25 or 26 employees took that. 12 months earlier we did the same thing — it was voluntary. For different reasons people find that offer attractive or not as the case may be.” 

Editor’s note: In accordance with Media Council transparency rules, Don Burgess is a shareholder in the Bank of Butterfield.