By Kemi Omosanya
The move has been criticised by several people as inhumane
In 2011, Access Bank acquired 75% majority stakes in Intercontinental Bank Plc, and took over the latter’s assets, liabilities and undertakings.
The merger of both banks is supposed to be completed by March 2012, upon which they will be fused and Intercontinental Bank will cease to exist as a separate entity. Already, the Intercontinental branches are being rebranded as Access Bank branches.
On Friday, Access Bank reportedly sacked about 1,500 staff members of Intercontinental Bank Plc, a move which has generated a lot of furore over the Internet. The bank also shut down some Intercontinental Bank branches.
The move has been criticised by several people as inhumane, however a management source in Access Bank has sought to clarify the bank’s moves. According to the source, rumour mill exaggerated the number of staff exited, as only Intercontinental Bank staff members who performed very poorly were affected by the move. Contrary to what media reports claimed, he said, the staff members were briefed individually by senior staff and treated with dignity and utmost respect.
He also explained that despite the fact that 70% of the staff benefiting from Access Bank were not eligible under intercontinental’s gratuity scheme, Access Bank gave the outgoing staff bumper exit packages which Labour has even adopted as standard following best practice. “Access Bank, at is own cost, has engaged a placement agency to help exited staff pursue new opportunities. Even though some retained staff have voluntarily opted for this generous exit scheme,” the source said.