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Cabs to retrench

Staff Writer

THE Central Africa Building Society (Cabs), the country’s largest building society, is retrenching and offering staff packages to leave.

etica, sans-serif”>The financial institution this week said the exercise was voluntary and was meant to reduce staff levels, which had become “excessive”.

Cabs managing director Derek Stephenson said the exercise had already begun at the “highest level” with four members of the general management team accepting packages.

“The packages are generous and similar to those offered by Old Mutual last year,” he said. “The exercise is expected to be completed by the end of May 2004.”

Stephenson said the retrenchment exercise should be viewed as part of the company’s initiative to “improve future prospects by prudent financial management, rather than as a reaction to the current banking crises”.

The banking sector has been retrenching after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) began cracking the whip within the financial services sector with its new monetary policy statement.

Standard Chartered Bank of Zimbabwe, Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe and Kingdom Bank Ltd have also retrenched workers and given them golden handshakes.

“This exercise in fact started in November 2001 when we implemented a staff freeze,” Stephenson said. “Smaller margins in the future mean that we need to reduce our cost base and restructure the organisation accordingly.”

He said the voluntary retrenchment exercise was “proactive and will help ensure continued growth in the future”.

Cabs recently said the introduction of statutory reserves that “earn O%” while lodged with the RBZ would result in loss of revenue for the society.

Cabs said however mortgage loans are still available to interested customers.

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