Board chairperson of the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed NBS Bank, Vizenge Kumwenda, has hinted that the implementation of its five-year transformation journey from 2017-2021 may see some staff losing their jobs.
The bank, which has been struggling to meet the minimum capital requirement per Basel II, also has loss-making records for the past two years has since embarked on the business plan to enable the bank differentiate itself in the market, offer customised services and solutions for its customers and deliver value for its stakeholders.
In an interview on the sidelines of signing a technical partnership with Rabobank of The Netherlands, Kumwenda hinted on the possibility of job cuts along the transformation journey.
“The transformation will bring a lot of changes within the bank. It is possible that as part of this transformation, we may see that some positions will not be required any longer, hence lay off some staff.
“If it comes to this, we will only ensure that our staff are well looked after by ensuring that they are fully paid their entitlements,” he said.
In the year ended December 2016, the bank and its subsidiary, NBS Forex Bureau Limited, reported a loss before tax of K4 billion—up from the previous year’s K195 million—due to a drop in interest income and sharp increase in other operating expenses.
Kumwenda was, however, upbeat on the brighter prospects that the newly formed partnership with Rabobank, a move that aims to help the bank deliver on this new business plan, would bring.
He said the partnership will see Rabobank facilitating trainings for NBS Bank staff on the job and study tours to several entities of the Rabobank Group.
Speaking separately, NBS chief executive officer, Kwanele Ngwenya, said through the partnership, shareholders investment will grow adding that customers will also experience a world service.
On his part, Rabobank head of banking advisory David Gerbrands said the partnership built on the economic need of Malawi’s financial sector, and NBS Bank in particular, will help the bank become healthy and profitable.
Meanwhile, the bank has hired an independent consultant to handle the staff rationalisation process.
In a media statement made available to Business News on yesterday, the bank said where necessary, the consultant will recommend that some staff be re-assigned to other positions within the bank structure or be laid off if there are no gaps.
The bank was, however, non-commital on the number of employees that would be retained or laid off.
Rabobank serves about 10 million customers in 40 countries. n