StanChart consolidating property division

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Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe is consolidating its property division to create one single external supplier and improve operational efficiencies, a company official has said.

Fidelity Mhlanga

Standard Chartered head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing Lillian Hapanyengwi said this would create standardisation of processes, efficient governance and streamlined communication.

“In line with the bank’s global strategy to streamline business operations and improve operational efficiencies, Standard Chartered’s property division is consolidating its multiple real estate service providers to one single external supplier, across all markets. The benefits of such a partnership enables standardisation of processes, efficient governance, and streamlined communication, auditing and reporting,” Hapanyengwi said.

She said in Zimbabwe, the realignment process was still in its early stages, adding the bank looks forward to enhanced efficiencies and delivery within its property division, with minimal impact on staff.

“As always, the Bank will take every step to minimise the impact on staff, with many individuals becoming part of the supply partner’s delivery capability in the interest of continuity and leveraging existing skills,” she added.

This comes after Standard Chartered Zimbabwe revealed a plan to retrench five employees.

A notice of retrenchment signed by Head of Human Resources Audrey Mlambo gleaned by this paper says the optimisation initiative entails that the bank operates through a vendor in the supply of all services that fall under the property function.

“The Standard Chartered Plc board and court of Standard Chartered Bank agreed to enter into master contracts with Mace Macro and Tsebo with a view to save to the group of US$28,5 million over the five-year renewable period ,” read the letter.

However, the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers’ Union (Zibawu) said retrenchment is coming hardly a year after the bank embarked on another retrenchment exercise which saw 12 non-managerial employees losing their jobs.

“Retrenchment remains a painful exercise of last resort which should be pursued after all options would have been proved ineffective. Such restructuring should consider possible economic, social, political and legal effects on both the bank and other stakeholders,” the union said.

Zibawu said workers of Standard Chartered Bank no longer understand where the bank is coming from and where it is going, and employment safety is no longer guaranteed as the bank appears to be in perennial retrenchment mode.

“There is no mention of benefits of this exercise to other stakeholders particularly staff including those that are remaining. It would appear the bank has been selfish in these retrenchments, regard must be taken in terms and conditions under which the previous group was retrenched. We have seen the bank throwing the retrenched employees onto the streets without meaningful retrenchment packages ,” the union said.

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