Bidvest has announced plans to retrench a number of employees in its banking division, as it grapples with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an internal letter sent to employees, the group said that it anticipates up to 400 employees in its personal banking, business banking and support divisions will be affected by the retrenchments.
The group said that the job cuts had been necessitated by reduced revenues being experienced, taking into account the reduced demand for certain products and services.
Thinus Liebenberg, Bidvest Bank financial director and acting managing director said that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital access to financial services and the decreasing need for traditional ways of interacting with banks and other service providers.
“Bidvest Bank has also experienced a significant impact on its financial results and revenues over the last few months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, further compounded by the general economic environment.
“A strong digital platform in the current environment is going to be crucial to remain sustainable and competitive.”
Liebenberg said that the bank will therefore be embarking on a significant organisational restructure to serve customers more efficiently.
He said that there are currently 1,037 permanent employees within the Bank. Of this number, approximately 650 employees will be affected in the Personal Banking, Business Banking and Support divisions.
Taking into account the nature of the organisational changes that the Bank is currently considering, it is anticipated that approximately 400 employees could be retrenched, he said.
In a June trading update, Bidvest said that it will be looking at retrenchments across all of its core groups as it faces the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
It said that the pandemic will result in long term socio-economic shifts and consequently long- term structural changes to the economy and business in general.
“The group will strategically review all Bidvest businesses and right-size operations to make sure that our operating models remain relevant and appropriate for the level of demand.
“This may lead to retrenchments across all six divisions in order to reinforce their competitive positions in the future, and ensure that the businesses have the potential of sufficient scale.”