Dutch bank Rabobank announces restructuring, slashes 9,000 jobs

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch co-operative bank Rabobank says it is slashing 9,000 jobs as part of a restructuring to boost its finances and bring it closer to customers.

The bank announced the moves Wednesday, saying it would “make every possible effort to avoid compulsory redundancies” as it cuts the jobs by 2018.

Worldwide, Rabobank employs some 48,000 people.

Rabobank’s reputation has been battered in recent years. Two years ago it agreed to pay about $1 billion to settle U.S., British and Dutch charges of manipulating a key global interest rate. The payout included a $325 million deal with the U.S. Justice Department to allow the bank to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for co-operation.

Rabobank says it aims to focus lending on food and agriculture worldwide and on other Dutch growth sectors.