A trend that seemed to have gone away has come to the fore once more– sacking of bank staff.
Recall that sometime last year, banks seemed in the habit of laying off several workers so much so that the Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had to step in and warn banks to stop the practice.
It seems the practice has resumed with a report stating that banks in the country have been laying off an average of 360 staff every week.
According to the data, around 8,663 people lost their jobs in the first half of 2017 with the report stating “an average of 360 people have been sacked every week from January to June 2017. The figures were higher in the first quarter and lower in the second”.
According to the report titled ‘Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectorial Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength’ released by the bureau, a total of 8,663 lost their jobs and more contract staff were employed during the period.
In a close-up breakdown, it was revealed that there was a drop from 174 executive staff In the first quarter to 161 in the second quarter.
Also there was a drop in senior staff from 20,483 in the first quarter, to 19,826 in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, there has been a rise in contract staff from 20,237 in the first quarter to 21,837 in the second quarter.
Heritage Bank and Ecobank have been pointed out as examples of banks that have partaken in this practice with the latter said to have merged 74 branches, saying it was embracing digital channels which would reduce the need of visiting physical locations.
A financial analyst, Matthew Ogagavworia, shed more light as to why this could be happening laying the cause at the feet of huge non-performing loans burden of banks in the country.
He said; “When banks are being owed billion of naira by companies and businesses in the country, the resultant effect is for the banks to look at ways of bringing down its overhead cost and by so doing, they will revert to laying off staff”
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