NBS Bank to lay off staff, restructuring

Barely a week after National Bank of Malawi plc asked interested employees to proceed on voluntary retrenchment, another listed commercial bank, NBS Bank plc, has followed suit.

In a letter issued on Tuesday and co-signed by the bank’s chief finance officer Vera Zulu and head of human resources Austin Thunde, NBS Bank plc said it has opened the voluntary exit window to reduce chances of retrenchment where interested employees are urged to apply for voluntary exit.

NBS Bank head office in Blantyre

The communication said the process was in line with closure of five of the bank’s service centres as part of rationalisation of business operations in its transformation process.

Reads the communication: “As earlier communicated, the operations of the closed service centres will be merged into the closet service centres. The bank will then consider all applications made and the applicants will be notified of the outcome upon review.” 

But NBS Bank pointed out that it reserves the right to accept or reject applications for voluntary exit in line with the long-term interests of the company.

The bank has given a March 12 2019 deadline for interested employees to submit their voluntary retrenchment applications.

A senior manager at NBS Bank confided that the bank has from time to time hinted it would lay off some staff.

NBS Bank board chairperson Vizenge Kumwenda is on record as having said the implementation of a five-year transformation journey from 2017-2021 may see some of its staff losing their jobs along the way.

NBS Bank has been making losses until recently when it announced reducing loss by about 74 percent to K1.1 billion in the year ended December 31 2017 from K4.3 billion in 2016, according to the bank’s financial results.

Meanwhile, the bank is expected to make a 130 percent profit for the year-ended December 31 2018, according to a Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) corporate announcement posted on Tuesday.

National Bank, the country’s biggest commercial bank by assets and profitability, said it would lay off an undisclosed number of employees in what it termed voluntary retirement to reduce its operational expenses.

In a circular dated February 25 2019 signed by head of human resources Charles Dulira, the MSE-listed bank said the decision to lay-off staff has been necessitated by recent changes in the operating environment that have made it necessary to reduce staff costs. n

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