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Breaking News: Ecobank To Sack 1,500 Staff, Close 50 Branches

One of the commercial banks in Nigeria, Ecobank, says it has concluded plans aimed at reducing its workforce and closing down some unviable branches in a bid to reorganise its services in 2017.
This was disclosed by the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ade Ayeyemi,while speaking on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum for Africa in Durban.
The bank, which has its affiliates in other parts of the African continent, according to him, had taken the decision to close some of its branches in Nigeria as part of ongoing investments in digital platforms.
To that effect, over 50 of its total of 200 branches, said not to be suitable for the new plans it is about to embrace would soon go.

The bank’s operations in about 40 countries across sub-Saharan Africa are exposed to some economies that have been pressured by the slide in commodity prices and unfavourable currency swings.
Reports from its balance sheet in 2016 indicate that it recorded about $131 million pre-tax loss.

Not even the positive posting in the first quarter of 2017, which saw it posting a pre-tax profit of $75 million, though down by 17 per cent by the same period in 2016 could change management’s plans from reducing estimated 1,500 staff from its workforce of about 17,500, as at last audit in 2015.
The bank, which recently added some foreign investors, including South Africa’s Nedbank and Qatar National Bank, as shareholders, is said to be one of the Nigerian banks affected by incidence of high toxic loans in the system.
However, Nigeria still generates about 40 per cent of the total revenues of the bank, despite the recession of 2016, according to its annual general meeting report of 2016.
But when Ayeyemi, a former Citigroup executive in Africa, was taking over as the CEO, in 2015, he promised to recover most of the loans and in addition modernise its operations in line with international standards.
He told newsmen recently in Lagos that the bank had mapped our strategies to recovery most of the loans owed it by oil firms as there has been a reported stability in the sector.
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