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UAE’s Commercial Bank plans to cut up to 18% of its workforce

UAE’s Commercial Bank plans to cut up to 18% of its workforce

Between 80 to 100 people are expected to accept the offer via a voluntary redundancy programme

Commercial Bank International will trim as much as 18 per cent of its workforce through a voluntary redundancy programme as the United Arab Emirates lender withdraws from some business segments, people with knowledge of the plan said.

Between 80 to 100 people are expected to accept the offer, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The bank employs about 550 people across nine branches.

The Dubai-based firm, 40 per cent owned by Qatar National Bank, plans to exit unsecured retail lending such as personal loans and will focus on affluent clients within consumer banking and its corporate-banking business, one of the people said. It is still early in the process and no timing has been set, one person said.

The voluntary redundancy programme is part of the bank’s transformation strategy and will help “generate sustainable growth, improve efficiency and continue delivering high quality services to all of our customers,” Commercial Bank said in an emailed statement. “As part of this programme, we will continue to support and treat our people fairly and provide them with choices.”

The reorganisation is the lender’s second in two years. In 2017, Commercial Bank cut about 125 jobs and reduced the number of branches to 17 from 27. About 50 banks operate in the UAE where competitive pressures are pushing companies to cut costs and explore mergers to boost profit.

Mashreqbank is reducing branches as more customers move to online banking, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank may shed about 2,000 jobs following a three-way merger. Barclays was said in July to have cut about 20 jobs in its wealth management business in Dubai.

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