Making sure regulation compliance and healthy working conditions go hand in hand for Europe’s bank workers

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Bank social partner project workshop Bucharest 16 May 2019 

Last week in Bucharest, bank workers and employers from across Europe came together to discuss, debate and share best practice on managing the impact of increasing regulation on employment and working conditions in the sector.

The event was the first workshop of the newly launched two-year UNI Europa Finance project on ‘The impact of banking regulation on employment: Analysing best practice at European, national and company level and developing joint approaches through European Social Dialogue’.

Following last year’s mapping exercise of some of the banking sector’s employment areas affected the most by increasing regulation (see our article here), this follow-up project aims to establish a joint European social partner approach to ensure that regulation will have no negative consequences for workers but can rather be used to improve their working conditions and daily work.

The 2008 financial crisis – whose effects are still being felt today – showed us that banks’ real functions had over the years been pushed aside in favour of speculative investment, to the detriment of workers, customers, the economy and society as a whole. Much needed EU regulation has since been introduced to keep fat cat bankers under control and stop another crisis from happening. But unfortunately, bank workers often have to bear the consequences in terms of increased pressure and responsibility in navigating this complex regulatory environment and unfair obligation from bosses to comply with unreachable and even unethical sales targets.

UNI Europa Finance wants a well-run and sustainable banking system that can support the real economy, social welfare and job creation, and this can only be achieved with good working conditions and on-going training for bank workers.

The workshop was also an excellent opportunity to present the fantastic organising efforts of Romania’s finance sector trade union FSAB, whose membership continues to rise and who in December 2018 signed a historic national sectoral collective agreement (see more here).

UNI Europa Finance is running the project with EU Commission funding and the support of our European level social partners at the European Banking Federation (EBF), European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG), and European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB).

The next project workshop will be held in Malta on 26 September 2019 and will focus on ensuring a level regulation playing field with the rise of new technologies such as FinTech.

 

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