Standard Bank vaccine mandate

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Shi Zhao

Standard Bank to close 91 branches and cut 1 200 jobs

Standard Bank released a statement today confirming that they have a begun the process of closing 91 branches by June this year as the bank moves their personal and business banking toward a digital banking model.

Standard Bank vaccine mandate

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Shi Zhao

The announcement comes in the wake of a similar notice last year. Standard bank issued 526 IT employees Section 189 notices to begin the consultation process toward retrenchment, according to Business Report.

The thinking 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 digital banks

The latest round of job losses come at a time when politicians are talking about battling unemployment.

It might also spark fears that other big banks could start moving in the same direction as they begin to face competition from emerging digital banks like Tyme Bank and Discovery’s banking platform.

Read – South Africans throwing their toys over Discovery Bank’s ‘racism’

In the statement, Standard Bank tried to soften the blow, but potentially 1 200 households could suddenly find that they have to re-enter 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 won’t be left out in the cold

The bank has promised to offer assistance to those affected by their decision. However, that will likely be little consolation to those left in the fray.

In the statement published by EWN, the bank concedes 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.”