Mass sack hits 3 Nigerian banks

Mass sack hits 3 Nigerian banks

- Skye Bank Plc sends 175 of its employees into the labour market

- Ecobanks sacks more than 1040 employees

- Diamond Bank fires 200 of its workers

The low oil prices, uncertainty in foreign exchange and the dwindling economy in the country have taken its toll on the banking sector.

This follows reports that banks are beginning to cut down the number of their employees.

According to a report on The Punch, some banks rated well high by the Central Bank of Nigeria, have been hit by the current economy crisis, which has resulted in the reduction of their work force.

Unfortunately, employees have been the casualties in the retrenchment exercise, as many of them have ended up in the labour market.

Below are some of the banks said to have fired some of their workers in just the second quarter of 2016:

1. Skye Bank

The recent trend of retrenchment of workers in the financial services sector extended to Skye Bank Plc, on Monday, June 6, as the bank sent 175 of its employees into the labour market, The Punch reports.

This was contained in a statement through which it explained that the affected workers failed the year 2015 appraisal exercise.

The statement explained that a combination of factors was taken into consideration in the annual exercise, which ranged from low productivity to disciplinary issues, adding that the affected employees were duly exited in line with the bank’s staff exit policy.

READ ALSO: 2015 election: Banks harass lawmakers over unpaid loans

The statement read in part: “The staff disengagement exercise is coming a year after the bank’s successful integration with the erstwhile Mainstreet Bank, which it acquired in October 2014; the integration exercise described by analysts as a landmark in Nigeria’s banking industry has significantly improved Skye Bank’s ICT capacity and helped strengthen the bank’s service delivery.

“The bank extended its appreciation to the affected staff for serving the bank, describing them as members of the family who will always be accorded deserving respect in their future dealings with the bank.”

Mass sack hits 3 Nigerian banks
File photo of a banking hall

According to the statement, Skye Bank is adjudged by the Central Bank of Nigeria as one of the systemically important banks with over N1.3tn balance sheet, and has over 400 branches.

2. Ecobank

The bank has sacked more than 1040 employees, reports say.

The affected staff include full time and contract workers

The management of the bank also confirmed the mass sack via a statement released by Managing Director, Charles Kie.

The statement reads: “The bank, in its renewed drive for optimal performance, has in addition realigned certain roles bank wide to ensure improved efficiency. This necessitates the exits of some staff who were adequately compensated.

“This is in furtherance of a market repositioning exercise designed to strengthen the bank’s business across all markets where it operates. Our focus is to improve the quality of service to our customers as well as our operational efficiency.

“We understand that people are our key assets; so, we have emphasised the need to reward our best performers, continue to re-invigorate our people, while also opening up new opportunities for talented and committed people to join us as permanent employees.

“At the same time, based on our repositioning plan, we had to disengage some staff, while ensuring that, in line with industry standards, they are treated fairly.”

READ ALSO: You can't direct us, employers tell Ngige

3. Diamond Bank

The bank was said to have fired 200 of its workers on Friday, May 27.

Confirming the development in a statement on Tuesday, May 31, a statement revealed the sacking of the 200 workers was in line with its strategic plan to drive shareholders’ value.

The statement read: “Diamond Bank recently rightsized its workforce. The rightsizing was a core strategic exercise in line with the bank’s growth objective and the will to continue the drive to optimise cost and enhance value for the shareholders at the end of the business year.

“In the bank’s last appraisal, only 200 staff whose performance scorecards were adjudged to be lower than the minimum required to drive its strategic growth plan for the business year were relieved, with the opportunity to seek employment in other organisations where their respective skills set and individual performances could be enhanced and optimised.

“The yearly appraisal is a general industry standard and enables banks to prune their workforce and prudently allocate resources for optimum result. Diamond Bank is not an exception in the industry and therefore, had carried out its annual appraisal and found the performance of members of staff that were relieved to be below the required minimum performance level that would sustain them in the system. With its trim-and-fit workforce, the bank is sure to meet its target for the current business year.”

Meanwhile, FBN Holdings, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, had recently said it would cut down the number of its employees by 1,000. recalls that Dr. Chris Ngige, the minister of Labour and Productivity, on Friday, June 3, directed the banks to stop the retrenchment exercise.

The minister further directed that all the retrenchments done in the past four months should be put on hold pending the outcome of a proposed stakeholders’ summit for employers and employees of the banking, insurance and financial institutions scheduled for the first week of July.

He said: “Following the high spate of petitions and complaints from stakeholders in the banking, insurance and financial institutions, I hereby direct the suspension of the ongoing retrenchment in the sector pending the outcome of the conciliatory meetings in the industry.”

The slowdown in the economy has fuelled a high non-performing loan rate in the banking system, causing banks to record sharp decline in their profits for the 2015 financial year and the first quarter of 2016.


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