Diamond Bank Plc has fired 200 members of its workforce on Friday as the economic challenges affecting the country continue to batter the financial services industry.
This is coming two months after the bank announced that its profit before tax for the first quarter of this year fell to N6.04bn from the N7.94bn it recorded in the first quarter of 2015.
The slowdown in the economy has fuelled a high non-performing loan rate in the banking system, causing banks to record sharp decline in their profits for the 2015 financial year and the first quarter of 2016.
Confirming the development in a statement on Tuesday, the lender said the sacking of the 200 workers was in line with its strategic plan to drive shareholders’ value.
The statement read, “Diamond Bank recently rightsized its workforce. The rightsizing was a core strategic exercise in line with the bank’s growth objective and the will to continue the drive to optimise cost and enhance value for the shareholders at the end of the business year.
“In the bank’s last appraisal, only 200 staff whose performance scorecards were adjudged to be lower than the minimum required to drive its strategic growth plan for the business year were relieved, with the opportunity to seek employment in other organisations where their respective skills set and individual performances could be enhanced and optimised.
“The yearly appraisal is a general industry standard and enables banks to prune their workforce and prudently allocate resources for optimum result. Diamond Bank is not an exception in the industry and therefore, had carried out its annual appraisal and found the performance of members of staff that were relieved to be below the required minimum performance level that would sustain them in the system. With its trim-and-fit workforce, the bank is sure to meet its target for the current business year.”
However, unconfirmed reports had it that the number of workers who were asked to go was in the region of 400.
The reports stated that the lender was aiming to reduce its N800m monthly wage bill significantly and was also considering pruning workers in the managerial cadre by 80 per cent, a claimed that Diamond Bank denied.