Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

newsHilton Tarrant writes that three of SA’s five largest banks have been quietly cutting staff, particularly in retail units, to drive down stubbornly high cost-to-income ratios.  

In the past year Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank have cut over 2,200 staff in their SA operations – across retail, corporate and investment banking (CIB) and wealth units.  By contrast, FirstRand and Capitec have been adding staff.  FirstRand’s group headcount increased by 5% to over 47,000 (inclusive though of the UK’s Aldermore, acquired last year.)  In 2018, Absa reduced headcount by 830 (net) to 30,819, Nedbank by 726 (net) to 28,260 and Standard Bank by 680 (net) to 31,662 in SA.  The 2,236 decline equates to 2.4% of the total staff complement in the country across the three banks.  These reductions have come as efforts to reduce the number of branches (and total physical space occupied) ramp up, and digitisation becomes entrenched.  In its retail and business banking unit, Nedbank reduced headcount by 698 last year “largely through natural attrition”.  Absa indicated that, while staff costs grew 4% on the back of a 7% increase in salaries, group “headcount decreased 2% to 40,856, largely due to reductions in SA and a disposal” in its wealth, insurance and investment management unit.  Standard Bank said net headcount for the group declined by approximately 900 people “on the back of a combination of natural attrition, digital efficiencies and management actions”.  The author writes that the strategy to grow earnings while reducing headcount (actively or passively) is firmly embedded among most players in the local banking environment.

  • Read Hilton Tarrant’s full original report in the above regard at Moneyweb

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page