Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank which has been grappling with impairments, plans to lay off up to 15 per cent of its workforce, three sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
“There has been no official communication from the bank yet to the employees but around 15 per cent of employees will be let go as part of the move. This is said to be a board decision and there have been some cuts already this week. It was pretty unexpected,” a source at the bank said.
The bank has 8,000 employees, according to its website.
“It’s 15 per cent across the board, no specific departments are targeted at the bank. The goal is to cut costs by 15 per cent. Layoffs will be done this week,” another source said.
The lender posted a 62 per cent decline in fourth-quarter net profit, as provisioning due to exposure to Dubai government-linked entities hurt its performance.
ENBD, 55.6-per cent government owned through the Investment Corporation of Dubai, was ordered by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in October to take over loss-making Dubai Bank, which had been rescued by the emirate’s government earlier in 2011.
The UAE federal finance ministry gave it a Dhs2.8 billion ($762 million), eight-year loan at below market rates to help absorb the Dubai Bank acquisition, Surya Subramanian, ENBD’s chief financial officer, said last month.
Adding to the bank’s provisioning burden is Dubai Group, part of Dubai Holding, which is renegotiating $6 billion in bank debt.
ENBD, created in a 2007 merger between Emirates International Bank and National Bank of Dubai, has suffered due to its role as lender of last resort to Dubai state-linked firms.
Update: When contacted by Gulf Business, the bank sent a statement saying :”We decline to comment on this news which relates to internal staff matters.”