ABN AMRO to cut 2,350 jobs, most in back office

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch state-owned bank ABN AMRO <ABNNV.UL> said on Friday it would cut 2,350 jobs over the next four years, mostly in back office operations such as IT, as well as in retail and private banking, in a drive to save costs.

Several banks, such as Switzerland's biggest bank UBS and Dutch cooperatively-owned Rabobank, in the past two months announced plans to cut jobs to trim costs or cope with sluggish markets.

The Dutch state plans to sell ABN AMRO in 2014 or later, preferably by listing it on the stock market, and improving efficiency would make the bank more attractive to potential buyers.

Historically, ABN has had a relatively high cost-to-income ratio compared with other banks.

The Dutch government nationalized the Dutch operations of ABN AMRO and Fortis for 16.8 billion euros when Belgian-Dutch Fortis group lost investors' confidence at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.

ABN AMRO said in a statement it wanted to improve its services to customers by offering new products such as banking on mobile phones, and reduce internal bureaucracy, resulting in the job cuts.

It said it expected 1,500 redundancies and 850 positions to be lost through natural attrition, and it would take a restructuring provision of 200 million euros pre-tax.

(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger)