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SNS Equity Staff Asked to Take Salary Cut, Compensation

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- SNS Reaal NV employees at the securities unit’s equity business were offered a pay cut from next year and a one-time compensation payment to keep their jobs as the Dutch lender and insurer seeks ways to trim costs.

As many as 10 positions at SNS Securities’s equities unit will be eliminated, while the remaining employees were asked to accept a pay cut in exchange for an undisclosed compensation, Roland Kroes, a spokesman for the Utrecht, Netherlands-based bank and insurer said by telephone today. They have “a couple of weeks to decide, he said. Kroes said yesterday that the company plans to keep about 20 people in equities.

Securities firms from Milan-based UniCredit SpA to Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. are cutting back their European equity businesses as trading volumes fall and profitability decreases. ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services firm, said last month that it plans to cut about 25 jobs at its Amsterdam equities unit as part of a wider restructuring effort.

‘‘As difficult as it is for the employees, Securities feels forced to ask this financial contribution,’’ Kroes said. ‘‘The market has changed so much due to costs and pressure on margins and volumes that these type of measures are unfortunately needed.’’

SNS Reaal rose 3.6 percent to 96 cents as of 5:27 p.m. in Amsterdam, valuing the company at 276.1 million euros ($357 million). It has dropped 45 percent this year.

SNS Reaal, which was bailed out in 2008, said on Nov. 15 that it plans to eliminate about 750 jobs to achieve its 2015 targets. The company aims to cut operating costs by at least 75 million euros ($97 million) by the end of that year, it said.

SNS Securities’s employees do not fall under a collective labor agreement its parent company SNS Reaal concluded with three trade unions on Nov. 21, Kroes said. Under that agreement, workers won’t get a pay increase until at least 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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