Standard Bank to close 91 branches and cut 1 200 jobs
The statement comes in the wake of a similar notice last year. Standard bank issued 526 IT employees Section 189 notices to start the consultation process towards retrenchment, according to Business Report.
The reasoning at the time was that the bank needed to move toward emerging IT technologies. This meant shedding 526 traditional IT functions in favour of approximately 180 new-generation IT jobs.
Competing with emerging digital banks
The latest round of job losses come at a time when politicians are talking about fighting unemployment.
It might also stimulate fears that other big banks could start moving in the same direction as they begin to encounter competition from emerging digital banks like Tyme Bank and Discovery’s banking platform.
In the statement, Standard Bank tried to soften the blow, however potentially 1 200 households could suddenly find that they have to return to the job market with skills that could soon be in very low demand.
“These changes will impact approximately 1 200 jobs. However the actual number of employees who will ultimately exit the employ of Standard Bank SA could be lower, as new opportunities will become available in the new operating model,” the bank said.
Employees will not be left out in the cold
The bank made a promise to offer assistance to those affected by their decision. But, that will likely be little consolation to those left in the fray.
In the statement published by EWN, the bank acknowledges that “this has not been an easy decision to make”. They plan to offer a “comprehensive exit package” to affected workers. The statement concluded:
“We have also set aside funds to assist employees to acquire new skills to improve their competitiveness in the labour market, as well as entrepreneurial training and financial assistance. This has not been an easy decision to make. We recognise that this is a very stressful time for everyone.”