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Bank: coronavirus premiums make the splits!
Nicolas Sandanassamy / Capital

The bonuses for bank employees present at work during confinement are gradually arriving … but salaries are very different, depending on the establishment! From March, the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire had encouraged companies to pay a tax-free premium and no social contributions (“Macron premium”) to their employees, especially those who “had the courage” to be present at work during containment. This bonus can be paid until the end of August and its amount can reach 2,000 euros for companies with a profit-sharing agreement.

Constrained to remain operational by their status as a vital operator and the scale of the needs, thousands of agencies have remained open. “The staff came in rotation, the curtain of the agency was lowered and the access filtered to let customers in drop by drop,” recalls Philippe Kernivinen of FO-LCL, according to whom half of the LCL agencies remained open . “All employees who did not have a personal constraint ensured a certain continuity of activity on the spot, in alternation” and even if they “were not on the front line like the caregivers, there is a strong expectation among them regarding this bonus. ” “After having exposed themselves, they expect a return,” he defends.

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“If the bank employee is not there to take care of the EMPs (the loans guaranteed by the State, granted to the companies put in difficulty by the pandemic, note) and of extensions of maturity, or to welcome in agency some customers, behind everything collapses, “said Frédéric Guyonnet, national president of SNB / CFE-CGC, the leading union in the sector.

Yet the banks took a long time to make a move. Banque Populaire Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne was one of the first to want to pay “an exceptional bonus to employees who came to work in situ” between March 17 and May 10, says its director of human resources, David Marchal. Its maximum amount is 1,500 euros for employees in branches and 1,000 euros for those in general services and headquarters. A floor amount of 300 euros is expected from a week of presence. “Leave, various absences but also teleworking days” will be counted, details the manager. On average, the employees concerned will receive at the end of June between 700 and 800 euros. This bonus rewards “their + risk-taking + in a very severely affected region”, he underlines.

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“In Mulhouse, we all had the military hospital in mind in the parking lot or refrigerated trucks around the hospitals. We still had to have the courage to move and come to work” despite “some family pressure, the strangers from virus and the few masks that were circulating then “, recalls Mr. Marchal. This decision is not, however, the rule within the BPCE group, which leaves it to each regional savings bank of the Banque Populaire or Caisse d’Epargne networks to pay a premium or not. All employees having contributed to the functioning of the group, this “makes it difficult to define the criteria for eligibility for a possible bonus at the group level,” said BPCE to hooly News.

This complexity mainly reflects that of the operation of mutual banking groups composed of central and regional entities autonomous in this area. In the branch of the 39 Crédit Agricole regional mutuals, the payment of a special Covid premium as part of the “Macron premium” is “not envisaged at this stage”, a bonus of this type of 700 euros having been paid at the start of the year “to all employees”, replied the National Federation of Credit Agricole. Entities in this branch, however, retain the possibility of “operating locally” “levers” in terms of compensation, she said.

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At LCL, the retail bank of the listed entity Crédit Agricole SA, the question does not seem to be settled yet. Employees have “a real need for recognition” and “the absence of bonus is badly experienced,” said Frédéric Guyonnet, SNB / CFE-CGC. The non-mutual banking groups BNP Paribas, Société Générale and La Banque Postale have for their part paid an exceptional premium, the amounts of which range from 100 to 800 euros maximum.