Ghana’s First Atlantic Bank to sack 100 staff after merger


First Atlantic Bank Ltd. in Ghana has served notice to at least 100 of its staff that they will be laid off to avoid duplication of roles following its takeover of Energy Commercial Bank Ltd, Daily Mail GH can confirm.

According to the affected staff, they represent about 11 percent of the 950 workforce of the financial institution.

Official notice to the affected staff said their last working day is May 3, 2019.

They will receive severance package equal to one-month salary for every year worked, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid possible recriminations. The staff were also told at a meeting on April 30 that they will get 20 percent off any outstanding loans, the people said.

Jonas Safo Adu, the head of human resources at First Atlantic Bank, declined to comment when reached by mobile phone on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. First Atlantic’s first-quarter capital adequacy ratio rose to 30 percent following the closure of the deal, from 26 percent at the end of March last year, it said in a statement. Non-performing loans doubled to 24 percent.

The lenders began merger talks in December to meet the regulator’s new minimum capital requirements after an initial public offering by Energy Commercial Bank failed — attracting offers of less than a fifth of the 340 million cedis ($66 million) it had sought. Merger documents prepared for the Bank of Ghana said all staff would be retained for the first two years after the deal, the people said.

Osei Gyasi, the head of banking supervision at the central bank, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone on Thursday.

Offer Rejected

Some of the affected employees, most of who are from Energy Commercial, are preparing to approach the country’s National Labour Commission this week to argue that they weren’t given enough notice and that severance payments aren’t adequate, the people said.

“The bank has violated our rights by not giving us at least three months’ notice ahead of the termination of our appointment and also failing to negotiate our severance package with us,” a group calling itself Concerned Staff of Atlantic Bank said in an email. The group said it is rejecting the severance package offered by the lender.

Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from Bloomberg

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