In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg television, CEO Jean Pierre Mustier says “it’s important for banks to support the economy and be part of the solution in this crisis.”
Following European Central Bank recommendations, UniCredit is one of a number of leading European bank to postpone its 2019 dividend and shelve a proposed share buyback plan. The cash saved will be used to support the economy, specifically SMEs in countries across Europe.
“Our first priority is the safety of our employees. This has been our key focus: if our employees are safe then it means we can support and serve our clients. We are also working with governments to make sure the measures that have been announced can be pushed towards clients and bring them the liquidity and support that they need.”
He also tells Bloomberg that more than 50,000 employees were working remotely on Friday and describes the invaluable work of UniCredit’s “branch heroes” who are supporting clients across the network, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. Clients are being asked to use UniCredit’s multi-channel services where possible. “Our call centre volumes have increased 70% since the beginning of the crisis,” he says.
Watch Jean Pierre’s interview with Bloomberg here.