StanChart Bank, employees in standoff over US$ rated salaries

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By Alois Vinga

STANDARD Chartered Bank (StanChart) and its employees are embroiled in a stalemate over the latter’s demands to be paid salaries using RTGS dollars perked against the prevailing US dollar inter-market rates.

Speaking to Business on condition of anonymity, a StanChart Bank staffer alleged that all is not well at one of the country’s oldest financial institutions as the parties are failing to find an amicable solution.

“Employees are demanding a 100 % US$ indexed salary against the prevailing bank rate. The staffers are currently getting an allowance of 40% of their basic salaries but there are a lot of calculations which are being made and come month end, the bank is deducting those allowances leaving some of the employees earning net salaries of $80,” the source said.

The source said sometime last week, the bank workers threatened to picket at the institution’s head office demanding an urgent solution on the matter.

He said on the contrary, top management executives enjoy hefty allowances in the form of fuel on a weekly basis on top of school fees allowances.

Said the source, “The employees have been locked up in crisis meetings with top management and they are threatening to stage a sleep-over demonstration at the bank’s headquarters if the demands are not met urgently.”

Contacted for comment on the issue, StanChart’s Corporate Affairs head, Lillian Hapanyengwi hinted that economic challenges are affecting the economy.

“We can confirm that no staff have camped at our offices. However, as you are aware, the country is going through a tough economic environment. We remain committed to the long-term interests of our staff and clients in Zimbabwe and will continue to look for ways to assist staff through the challenges.  You will appreciate that staff compensation details are confidential,” she said.

Meanwhile, StanChart managed to post a profit of $34 million for the half year ended June 30, 2019 attributed to growth in earning assets and tariff reviews.

The quality of the bank’s loan book continued to improve as reflected by the significant reduction in the non- performing loans ratio from 2.1 % as at December 31, 2018 to 0.7%.