Hard Times For The Banking Sector Forces SBM Bank To Shut Down Five Branches

The banking sector is seemingly going through complex economic times caused by the Corona Virus pandemic, forcing most to engage in cost-cutting measures.

Among the most common cost-cutting measures include closure of some branches and retrenchment of employees, or even reducing their salaries.

SBM Bank (formerly Fidelity Commercial Bank Limited) has become the latest in the market to announce cost-cutting measures by shutting down five branches, leading to loss of jobs.

Among the branches targeted include Ngara, Dagoretti Express, Lunga Lunga Branch, Jomvu Express, and Mombasa Moi Avenue Branch.

According to a notice dated November 12, Ngara, Dagoretti Express, Lunga Lunga, and Jomvu Express branches will close on December 12, 2020, while Mombasa Moi Avenue will close on December 30, 2020.

“This closure does not affect availability of our services on the alternate channels; Mobile banking, Internet banking, Agency Banking and Card business,” the notice read in part.

The decision by SMB comes barely three weeks after the NCBA Bank made public plans to retrench a number of its employees as a result of difficult economic times.

In a statement to the employees, Group Managing Director John Gachora stated that the redundancy will be done through voluntary basis (Voluntary Exit Program) of forced exits (Redundancy Program).

Early this year, NCBA shut down 14 branches countrywide following a merger between the NIC Bank and CBA.

Recently, the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya announced plans to lay off 200 employees in a restructuring move.

According to a brief sent to the Banking Insurance & Finance Union, the targeted staffers are those in the management level and the unionisable staff.

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