Standard Bank to shut 91 SA branches, risking 1,200 jobs in digitisation push

By Vernon Wessels

(Bloomberg) – Standard Bank Group Ltd. expects to close 91 branches across South Africa, most by the end of June, in a move that may affect about 1,200 employees.

The company is reviewing its model for servicing retail and business customers due to an increasing uptake of its digital offerings and declining use of its outlets, the Johannesburg-based lender said in an emailed statement on Friday. The actual number of people who lose their jobs might be lower because there may be other opportunities in the new operating model, it said.

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Standard Bank’s South African unit “will implement a comprehensive exit package which significantly exceeds the requirements as set out in the Labour Relations Act,” the lender said. It has also set aside funds to assist employees to “acquire new skills to improve their competitiveness in the labor market, as well as entrepreneurial training and financial assistance.”