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StanChart branch closures signal more bank job losses

 A StanChart branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A StanChart branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) #ticker:SCBK will shut down four of its branches in the country at the end of next month.

The lender said Monday the closures are the result of a restructuring plan that has become necessary with the current market conditions.

The announcement came barely a week after Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) #ticker:BBK announced closure of seven of its outlets beginning October 1.

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“Based on the results of this exercise, we shall close our branches in Bungoma, Kisii, Kitengela and Warwick (Nairobi) end of August 2017,” said Standard Chartered Kenya and East Africa chief executive Lamin Manjang’.

“Following approval by the regulator, we have already communicated to all affected customers. All the affected staff will be deployed to branches and other roles in the bank.”

Mr Manjang’ said the closures had been informed by reduced customer traffic into its outlets as clients shift to digital platforms to carry out transactions.

“We are realigning resources to meet the changing needs of our clients. As our clients and the world go digital, our branch transaction traffic is impacted,” he said.  

“We continuously undertake a branch rationalisation programme in line with our Digital by Design strategy, which is geared towards developing market-leading online and mobile channels that deliver easy, convenient banking to all our clients.”

In May this year, StanChart launched video banking services in Kenya as it shifted to a digital platforms.

The service was part of the lender’s $1.5 billion global investment in technology announced last year.

Under the investment package, the financier has already introduced in Kenya a mobile banking app, an iPad-based digital sales and service tool, a new online banking platform and fingerprint log-in technology.

The automation had been feared could lead to staff cuts or slow down fresh recruitment for the lender, which let go about 167 employees in 2015 in a restructuring that was initiated by its London-based parent company.

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