Standard Bank has announced that about 1 200 people will lose their jobs across 91 branches from as early as June 2019 as a result of its new banking delivery model.
In a statement issued on Thursday, 14 March 2019, South Africa’s Standard Bank announced that approximately 1 200 jobs will be lost as the bank intends to close 91 branches, some of these branches closing as early as June 2019. The service provider is cutting down on human labour in favour of a new banking delivery model, in the form of digital banking.
“As part of the implementation of the new banking delivery model, some of the roles currently being performed in our branches will change,” the statement read.
“These changes will impact approximately 1200 jobs. However, 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 bank said.
The bank said it would provide the existing employees with comprehensive packages and added that the bank has set aside fees to fund employees who would like to improve on their skill sets.
“We have also set aside funds to assist employees acquire new skills to improve their competitiveness in the labour market, as well as entrepreneurial training and financial assistance. This has not been an easy decision to make. We recognise that this is a very stressful time for everyone,” the statement concluded.
The bank’s announcement came as an unexpected shock to South Africans, and many took to Twitter to express their disappointment in the bank’s decision, especially in South Africa’s current economic climate.
Irvin Jim tweeted, “All workers at Standard Bank must stand together and demand that Standard Bank must give them alternative jobs. To destroy 1 200 jobs just for greed must be reject[ed]. SA public should dump Standard Bank in defence of workers’ jobs.”