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NBS Bank staff ‘future’ uncertain

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Malawi Stock Exchange Limited (MSE) listed company, NBS Bank, employees are not certain of their future at the bank, as the financial institution is trying to reposition itself businesswise.

The Bank embarked on a recapitalisation process, to turn around its economic status and hence it is also profiling its employees, to make sure that qualified staff holds the right positions.

While management of the bank feels the profiling process is good for the Bank, employees think the NBS Bank should just say how many would like to be retained.

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An employee from Blantyre said the rumours are just too much and the morale among employees is low.

“There is a lot that is going on, today you hear this, and tomorrow you hear a different story. We don’t know the truth. Others say 300 people will be retrenched while some people give another figure,” said the source, who did not want to be named.

However, responding to a questionnaire, the Bank’s Board chairman, Vizenge Kumwenda, said the purpose of the exercise is to place right people in right roles to get maximum value.

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He said the process will give the Bank an opportunity to assess areas of development.

“We could have people that won’t fit in any position, in which case, the Bank will release them. For those that do not qualify for their current positions, we will reassign them to other roles where they best fit. In the event that there is no opening in those roles, we will release them,” Kumwenda said.

He said the process which is already underway, will take about 60 days.

In a separate interview, NBS Chief Executive Officer, Kwanele Ngwenya, said he is not in a position to say how many people will be laid off.

“We are working on building the Bank into a profitable unit. The banking sector has changed over the years and as a bank, we have several products and services and all these require skilled people, hence it is difficult to say that I will need a team of so many people,” Ngwenya said.

He, however, emphasised that the whole exercise will be to the benefit of the shareholders and the customers.

According to one of the circulars, that the Times Business has seen, Administration circular number 22/17 dat ed May 12 2017, states that management is in the process of conducting staff profiling whose primary objective is to enable the bank put the right people in the right positions where they best fit and will be effective and efficient.

The circular further says, the initial invitation for voluntary exit was only for employees in grade C4 and above, but, the union leaders during their meeting of May 9 2017, with members of the task committee on profiling and management requested that the invitation be extended to all members of staff.

“This is an invitation, therefore, to all members below grade C4 who were not previously considered for voluntary exit to forward their applications to the attention of head of Human Resources on terms, conditions and exit package as attached.

“The Bank will consider all the applications made and the applicants will be notified of the outcome. However, the Bank reserves the right to accept or reject applications for voluntary exit from those employees it considers that it is in the long term interests of the company to retain such employees,” reads the circular in part.

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