In a strategic move aimed at organizational adjustments to reduce costs, Bank of Africa is expected to close down 30 percent of its branches which places an estimated 500 employees at the risk of a lay off.
“We cannot at the moment issue any specifics on the actual number of employees who will leave but its without doubt there will be some staff whose function will be redundant,” says BOA Managing Director Ronald Marambii.
Nairobi County which has 25 branches will fall to 17 and 13 more branches will be more evenly spread out within the country. The announcement again thrusts the spotlight back on the banking sector that received much of that last year following the interest capping directive.
The bank has attributed the downsizing to strategic adjustments that will see the bank transition from the conventional brick and mortar outlets to digital channels such as mobile banking, agents and online banking which bring much desired convenience and ease of transaction, the significant expenses reduction notwithstanding.
Bank of Africa commenced operations in 2004, after successful acquisition of Credit Agricole Kenya an international French bank that had been in operation for 20 years. The bank recently opened 2 business centers for the enterprising clients one in Mombasa and Nairobi aims at enhancing efficiency by reaching their clients in real time.
BOA joins other lenders in the sector who have engaged in massive staff layoff as effects of the interest capping rate and an evolving banking landscape continue to set in. Shariah compliant lender first community bank (FCB) recently announced plans to lay off a third of its workforce who total 300, with redundancy letters as part of overall cost cutting measures.
Recently rebranded Sidian bank, last year completed the laying off of approximately 108 employees, Family, Eco bank, and Standard Chartered are all planning massive staff retrenchment . Equity Banks implemented its staff reduction last year calling it a natural attrition that had to happen.
BOA’s operation expenses stood at Ksh.2.3 billion as per the financial statements for the period to September 2016.