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Unions at Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) on Tuesday said 4,125 employees of the state-owned bank had come forward to take up an early exit scheme.

Monte dei Paschi (MPS) aims to launch a new share issue later this month for up to 2.5 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to fund the staff exits and lower its cost base from next year.

The unions said in a note that 4,015 requests related to an early retirement option which will see staff receive 80% of their salary for up to seven years before they reach the pension age.

MPS will take a few days to examine the requests following a meeting with unions on Tuesday, the note said.

Stormy markets pose a challenge to MPS’ latest capital raising – its seventh in 14 years – with the banks managing the sale wary of the risk of unsold shares. ($1 = 1.0111 euros)