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Access Bank not sacking staff – Management

Nigeria's largest bank, Access Bank Plc, said there is no truth in the story being circulated in the media that the bank is planning to sack 75 per cent of its workforce.

A top management of the bank said the management is aware of the implication of sacking any staff at a time like this and it is not even thinking of it in the nearest future.

"I can tell you that the bank is not thinking of downsizing its workforce anytime soon. We know the implication this will have on people, especially at a time like this," the source said.

He explained that despite the lockdown, the bank has paid its staff their full salary and what the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the bank, Herbert Wigwe, said in a podcast with the staff did not indicate that any member of staff of the bank is going to lose his job.

He stressed that the GMD reiterated this in his address to staff and that what the bank intend to do as some of its branches are either closed due to lockdown was to ensure that some outsourced staff will be left without doing any work.

"Due to lockdown in some states and partial lock down in other places, some of our branches have been closed to prevent waste of money and we have asked staff to work from home. What we have noticed is that many of the outsourced staff are practically doing nothing and in an attempt to ensure prudency, the GMD advised companies where these outsource staff are from to reduce their number.

"We are in May now, you don't need to keep people at work in branches that may not be reopened until December because of the impact of COVID-19. When things normalises, the bank will approach these outsourcing companies to release their staff to us.

"We are only asking them to reduce the number and we are not the only bank or institution doing this. The decision of sacking these people does not lie in our hands," the top manager said.

While addressing shareholders at its annual general meeting on Friday, which was held by proxy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GMD said the bank is already addressing the issue high operating expenses and taking drastic measures to ensure that expenses are reduced significantly, adding the effect would be felt mostly in the second, third and final quarter of 2020.

Speaking on how Access Bank is running its business in the COVID-19 period, the GMD assured that Access Bank has put in place a robust business continuity process enough to sustain the bank's performance going forward.

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