Companies

National Bank says staff exits done legally

MUNIR

National Bank CEO Munir Ahmed. PHOTO | FILE |

Summary

  • The latest to leave is executive director for Retail and Business Banking, Mr Robert Kibaara, who resigned on Friday.
  • Other top level posts to have been vacated over the past six months include that of Human Resource Director, Head of Credit, Director Islamic Banking, Head of Retail, Head of SME banking, Head of Medium Enterprises and Head of Corporate Communication.

The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has defended its five year transformation as largely successful and geared towards placing it among the top five lenders in the country.

NBK Managing Director and Chief Executive Munir Ahmed said the implementations of the half decade plans were progressing well with results already evident contrary to critics.

“This bank had no strategy in 2012 when I joined and with the current 43 direct competitors in the industry, something had to be done about high credit risk exposure, low per capita revenue and poo productivity. Our income has grown 21 per cent in the last two years, loan book quality improved, more branches opened and business diversified, we are making good progress,” Mr Munir said.

The bank had called for a special media session on the bank's Strategy and future after reports emerged regarding several staff exits associated with the strategy’s roll out.

The NBK boss confirmed that there have been exits under different plans including early retirement, resignations and sackings related to poor performance. He however said the exits were done legally and professionally, refuting claims that employees were being kicked out (some without benefits).

The latest to leave is executive director for retail and business banking, Mr Robert Kibaara, who resigned on Friday. Mr Kibaara's resignation follows that of yet another senior official, corporate and institution banking executive director, Sam Okero, mid last year.

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Other top level posts to have been vacated over the past six months include that of Human Resource Director, Head of Credit, Director Islamic Banking, Head of Retail, Head of SME banking, Head of Medium Enterprises and Head of Corporate Communication.

NBK had planned to raise Sh13 billion in capital through a rights issue in 2013 to fund its expansion plans. The delay by government to allow for the source of capital the lender badly needed has seen it diversify into other revenue generation and cost cutting measures to stay afloat.

“We are disposing non-strategic assets like branches and vehicles so that we can convert them into better returns. The sales of these assets will earn us close to Sh1 billion and once we convert them to loans, we can get better return. We are not a real estate or transport company so this is simply the right option for us as a bank,” Mr Munir told journalists on Monday.

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In the last financial year, the National Treasury allocated Sh5 billion for the take up of the rights issue but later changed mind reallocating the money to other functions.

This year the CS Treasury Henry Rotich was equally mute on the issue. Last year the bank recorded 21.7 per cent net profit decline as high operating expenses and one-time restructuring costs weighed on its profitability.