Bank employees face job losses as economy collapses

beverly_queueHARARE - Hundreds of bank employees are set to lose their jobs after it recently emerged that the financial institutions are failing to sustain their operations let alone settle huge monthly salary bill under the current economic environment.

 

 


Bank sources said that Kingdom Bank was top of the list to retrench. Sources in the bank management said they had forced employees to go on six month unpaid leave while other banks are rotating people on a fortnightly basis.

Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited (KFHL) Group chief executive officer Onias Makamba said because of the sad developments in the status of the economy the bank was forced to shut down its Samora Machel and Chitungwiza banches.
“Against this background, KFHL have instituted some far reaching changes as a means of preserving the Kingdom brand in order to give the business a fighting chance at survival. We are certain about one thing, there is urgent need to reduce costs through implementation of radical survival strategies,” said Makamba.

Other banks affected include central bank boss Gideon Gono’s creation, Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) and FBC Holdings.
Workers who have borne the brunt of this ailing economy since about a decade ago, say they have not been paid properly for close to four months.
Management has offered voluntary retrenchment, but the packages are not yet known. We are suffering and are now being asked to go back home and wait for the economic situation to turnaround,” said a bank employee.

“It’s a painful exercise, but banks have no choice but to retrench,” said a manager at one of the affected banks. “Right now our deposits which are in local currency and are meaningless cannot sustain the huge wage bill we face at the end of every month. This is also going to affect middle managers.
Because of the economic environment, many financial institutions have been forced to deal in speculative activities on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). But there has not been any activity on the ZSE in November.
Against this backdrop, Gono made frantic efforts to take measures that he thought would pull the banks out of the quagmire.

In his monetary policy Gono, whose job is under threat under an inclusive government said: “To ensure the viability of the banking sector, authorised dealers can now levy their banks charges for Foreign Currency Accounts and related transactions in foreign currency, export for non foreign exchange earning entities and other special cases.”

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