Recently, In a statement, Barclays Bank Kenya said it was rolling out a Voluntary Exit Scheme that is open to all permanent employees. “This exercise will take place over a period of one month commencing June 19, this year and around 130 employees are expected to take up the offer.”
The lender started the process after it invited its employees to apply for voluntary retirement, which is usually the first process in the retrenchment exercise. “In the last few years, we have seen a material uptake of mobile and online banking as well as other alternative channels driven by customer preference and a desire to transact around the clock,” an email sent to its employees read in part.
“Consequently, in order to satisfy our customers’ preference and provide the desired customer experiences both now and in the future, we have been investing in automaton and digitisation programme,” the firm further explained.
The lender said it had been forced to lay off some employees since it ‘has been operating in an increasingly challenging environment’ that has forced it ‘to adapt to the prevailing market circumstances.” The bank gave its staff two weeks to apply for the voluntary exit scheme.
The exit package includes a one-month basic pay in lieu of notice, an exit pay calculated at one month basic pay for every year completed but subject to a maximum of 24 months. It will also offer employees medical cover until the end of the year. “Loans will remain on staff rates for a period of 12 months from release date then revert to commercial rates,” the email read in part.
However, despite Barclays Kenya scaling down its staff and branches in a review of its business operations, the Ugandan subsidiary has assured its customers that the development in the neighbouring country will not be replicated in Uganda.
Barclays Uganda Head of Marketing and Corporate Relation, Harriette Kasirye says that the decision to close branches is always based on a specific business/market and the importance of a particular branch.
She, however, added that the bank will not open any new branch going forward as it pushes for enhanced digitalisation of customer channels and products as opposed to opening brick and mortar branches.
“We closed two branches last year but we will not close any this year and it is also unlikely that you will hear us open new branches because we are pushing for digitalization; instead of opening branches, we will enhance the digital platform so that we can serve our customers better,” Kasirye said.
Barclays Bank Kenya announced on Monday that it would close five braches including the Moi Avenue, Haile Selassie, Waiyaki Way, Kawangware, Rahimtulla, Nakumatt Meru and Wundanyi branches.
Employees working in the affected branches will be redeployed based on available opportunities and matching competency skills.