Home » Business » Steward Bank Lays Off 40 Percent of Staff

STEWARD Bank has laid off 127 employees, about 40 percent of its workforce, to cut costs as it continues to “clean up” its forerunner’s legacy, sources familiar with developments said on Tuesday.

The bank, formerly known as TN Bank, was fully acquired by Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms firm Econet Wireless in January 2013 and is undergoing transformation as it pursues its objective of becoming a “top 5” bank in the next three years.

The bank’s staff costs at $5,062 million were 39 percent of total operating expenses in the half year to August 2013, compared to 34 percent in the same period of 2012.

Steward Bank reported an operating loss of $24.5 million in August 2013, down from an operating profit of $2.3 million previously, on the back of some one-off re-alignment expenses and the impairment of non-performing loans and aances.

“The affected employees were served with retrenchment letters last week,” said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that the bank had just over 300 workers prior to the retrenchment.

The retrenchments would be effective from June this year, although the affected employees had stopped reporting for work while they waited for their packages to be processed, another source said.

Bank officials declined to comment.

Steward provides the backbone to Econet’s mobile money service, Ecocash and its various products such as EcocashSave and EcocashLoans.

Source : New Zimbabwe