It was a bleak ‘Democracy Day’ weekend for over 400 staff of Diamond Bank Plc, as their appointments were terminated by the mid-sized lender on Friday.
Findings revealed that although the latest layoffs by the bank had long been expected by the staff, they were still caught unaware by the development.
A source at the bank said that when most of the affected staff resumed for work last Friday, they had no inkling that it would be their last day with the lender.
The source said, “The first sign that made us notice something was going on was that many people could not log into their systems. At first, we thought it was a network problem; but it soon became clear that staff who could not log in had been sacked.”
The source further revealed that most of the people who were disengaged were mainly middle level staff such as Customer Service Managers (CSM) and some workers in the Human Capital Department.
The source said, “As as at now, we cannot ascertain the actual number of people that have been asked to go but we heard that they are between 400 and 600 and that many Customer Service Managers(CSM) are affected. There had been speculation that Branch Managers were compiling list of people to be sacked but nobody expected that they had chosen the end of May to carry out the exercise.”
Attempts to confirm the development from a spokesman of the bank were not successful, as he failed to call back with details several hours after she promised to.
Financial analysts have predicted that the economic downturn in the country, coupled with regulatory headwinds, would lead to many banks sacking staff this year, as part of cost cutting efforts.
Indeed, respected economist and Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, predicted last January that banks may commence massive staff retrenchment in Q2 2016, due to the tough economy.
Significantly, banks such as FCMB and Ecobank had already announced job cuts this year and there are indications that many lenders will soon follow suit.
The tough economy has seen many lenders posting below par performance for both their full year December end 2015 and first quarter 2016 results.
In fact, Diamond Bank, which held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Friday, was one of several lenders that issued a profit warning that it’s profits for 2015 will be lower than the previous year.