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UniCredit to give staff in Germany 2,500 euro tax-free bonus-memo

FILE PHOTO: The UniCredit bank logo in the old city centre of Siena, Italy

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's second-largest lender UniCredit will give its staff in Germany a bonus of 2,500 euros ($2,594) to compensate for rising inflation, a copy of an internal memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by a spokesperson showed.

Trainees will receive a bonus of up to 1,250 euros, depending on the time they worked for the bank, the memo showed.

The bonuses are exempt from tax as well as social security charges and will be paid out in December, it added.

"You ... experience it at the supermarket checkout or the petrol station: inflation is making our lives more expensive," the memo said, adding the bonus's goal was to "make a contribution" without aiming to cover additional costs.

Under a third package of inflation relief measures costing in aggregate more than 65 billion euros, Germany announced in September that employers can pay out tax-free bonuses to staff of up to 3,000 euros each until the end of 2024.

Around half of German companies are expected to pay out bonuses under the scheme, a survey of 142 firms by consultancy WTW showed this week.

Italy last week approved a similar measure as part of a 9 billion euro aid package which will come into force in the next few days. Rome will forego taxation on fringe benefits paid to employees this year for up to 3,000 euros per worker.

UniCredit had roughly 14,000 employees in Germany as of end-September, its website showed, making it its second biggest market after Italy where it employs nearly 35,000 people.($1 = 0.9637 euros)

(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; Additional reporting by Rachel More in Berlin; Writing by Valentina Za; Editing by Agnieszka Flak)