By Alois Vinga
THE Central Africa Building Society (CABS) says it will close down four additional branches as operational challenges triggered by the obtaining harsh economic environment take a toll.
The measure also comes as technological advancements have decimated jobs in many sectors of the economy.
In a letter written to clients Friday, CABS managing director, Simon Hammond reveals details of the pending closures which are likely to leave more employees jobless.
“Please be advised that in line with our branch rationalisation strategy, the following branches will be closing on 31 January 2020; Highfield, Highglen ,Letombo and Norton. All services will be available at the nearest branches, or any other CABS branch nationwide.
“For your convenience, mobile banking (*227# and mobile app), internet banking, CABS agents, POS devices and ATMS will be available for your use,” Hammond said in the letter.
The move comes after CABS closed down four other branches in Harare (Mt Pleasant), Bulawayo (Nkulumane) Mutare (Dangamvura and CA House) end of October this year.
Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union general secretary, Shepherd Ngandu said he was “deeply disturbed” by the continuous job cuts.
“We are disturbed by these developments in the financial services sector as banks continue to close branches particularly these multinationals like cabs and Standard Chartered Bank,” he said.
“It may be a reflection of country economic situation and lack of confidence by these corporates.
“CABS floated a voluntary retrenchment package in order to deal with excess staff. We are made aware that these are the effects of technology as these banks are now merging some of their branches and hope to rely on technology to continue providing services to their customers in the affected branches.”
Indications across the wider sector have shown that banks are rolling out aggressive investments towards upgrading their digital platforms as well as enhancing their Information Communication Technologies to process more transactions and launch more customer-centric products.
As a result, in reverse of tradition where bank incomes are largely driven by loans and advances, most banks in Zimbabwe have seen their net incomes largely driven by non-interest income which is facilitated through electronic transactions which have increased as a result of the ongoing cash shortages.