WINDHOEK – Standard Bank Namibia has confirmed that it has no plans to retrench staff or close down branches as is being done by Standard Bank South Africa, which is realigning its retail and business banking delivery model to the changing needs of customers amid rapid adoption of digital banking products and services.
Standard Bank South Africa recently made a difficult decision to close 91 branches, with the vast majority of these closing by June 2019. These closures will impact approximately 1200 jobs in South Africa as part of the implementation of the new banking delivery model. The closures and retrenchments have been reported widely in South African media.
“The article(s) that has been circulating relating to branch closures in South Africa has nothing to do with Standard Bank Namibia. There are also no plans for retrenchment in Standard Bank Namibia. Yes, digitalisation is easier, cheaper and more convenient for customers but other factors are also considered before a business decision is taken to open a new branch or not,” said Magreth Mengo, Head of Marketing, Communication and CSI at Standard Bank Namibia.
In a recent statement the South African bank noted that 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 shift in customer behaviour means that our clients are using our branches less. As such, we have re-looked our retail and business banking delivery model so that it is geared to serve the needs of our customers,” read the Standard Bank SA statement.
“We have worked hard to minimise the impact of this re-organisation on our people. As part of a support programme agreed with SASBO, Standard Bank SA will implement a comprehensive exit package which significantly exceeds the requirements as set out in the Labour Relations Act. 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,” read the statement.