Standard Chartered to lay off 300 as bank moves shared services to India

    Standard Chartered to lay off 300 as bank moves shared services to India

    Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has announced plans to shift part of its operations from Nairobi, to India, as part of plans to restructure its operations.

    The move has been initiated by the bank’s parent company based in London as it consolidates its global operations.

    Through the restructuring process, the bank will shift its shared services centre to Chennai India.

    The shared service operations provides IT back end support for Standard Chartered in six countries in Africa including South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana Zambia as well as Kenya.

    The move will directly affect close to 300 employees who work at the centre.

    This comes barely a year after the bank laid off close to 167 employees as StanChart plc began merging most of its business operations.

    In a statement Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and East Africa Chief Executive Officer Lamin Manjang said the bank would absorb part of the affected staff through the bank’s global operations, with most likely to be laid off.

    “For those that will not be redeployed, a redundancy exercise will be carried out in line with local labour laws,” the bank said in a statement.

    The migration is expected to take eight months and be completed by June 2017.

    Mr Manjang however stressed that the bank remained committed to Kenya which he said remains a key part of the global business.

    “Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to Africa and Kenya in particular remains very strong.  The group has made substantial investments in Africa in the last year, and Africa is now at the front of the queue for future investments,” Mr Manjang said.

    At least four banks have announced intentions to lay off employees as the banking sector realigns itself.

    Sidian Bank announced that 108 employees would be laid off while Family Bank has initiated a voluntary early retirement exercise to cut down on staff costs.

    Ecobank is set to shut down nine branches while First Community Bank is also restructuring its business model.

    The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) last week said pressure was mounting on banks to lower cost of services which can no longer be sustained by having high staff costs.

    “The biggest thing is that the cost of services was perceived to be high so there’s a lot of pressure on the banks to reduce the cost be it in terms of transacting or the cost of credit. The consequence of leveraging on technology is the fact that you don’t require as much human labor as before,” KBA CEO Habil Olaka said.