Traditional banking in South Africa and its future are in spotlight after the Standard Bank, South Africa’s largest by assets, decided to cut around 1,200 jobs and closed 91 of its branches.
According to the reports, the move which seriously affected hundreds of workers was made as a part of a digitisation programme. However, its announcement broke the news at the time the country seriously struggled with bad employment rate. As of today, about 27% of South Africans haven’t got a permanent job.
Labour economist Andrew Levy thinks that the initiative was the result of the technological progress:
“So the old bank as we know it with tellers behind counters and filling in forms, that’s gone,” he said.
“This has not been an easy decision to make,” the Standard Bank said in a statement, adding that some employees might be incorporated in other areas of the business. Not all of them, however, will receive alternative jobs within the company.