BANK SLASHES EMPLOYEE BENEFITS | BANCABC employees have been rocked by changes to salary advances and loans, previously provided at concessionary rates, reportedly at the instigation of Atlas Mara CEO Mr Bob Diamond.


Mr Diamond and Mr Ashish Thakkar co-own Atlas Mara, which holds 50,1 percent shareholding in ABC Holdings.Employees will now access advances and loans at market rates. A BancABC Zimbabwe staffer, who elected to remain anonymous, told The Sunday Mail Business that changes had hurt staff morale.“Personal loans for staff members have been scrapped; BancABC employees are now accessing loans at market rates. People normally favour working in banks due to these loans offered at concessionary rates.

“Profit sharing, which was also enjoyed under the Douglas Munatsi era, has also been scrapped and is now being given on Bob’s discretion,” said the staffer.Personal loans, whose tenure was usually two years, used to attract seven percent interest. The tenure for car loans was five years. Housing loans attracted the same interest rates and ran for between five and 10 years.

BancABC employees are now assessed the same way as ordinary clients.A remuneration policy compiled by the bank’s human capital and learning department and seen by this newspaper says, “In general no salary advances will be made to employees. The company may (at the country MD’s discretion), under exceptional circumstances such as death
of an immediate family member/dependent, unforeseen medical expenses not covered by medical aid, and other deserving causes, grant salary advances.

“The amount of salary advance requested should not exceed 25 percent of the net salary earned during the month in respect of which the advance is requested.“Salary advances will be deducted in full from the net salary earned for the month in respect of which the advance was granted. For example, if an advance is taken on the July salary, the salary for July would be paid net of the full amount taken in advance.”

BancABC Zimbabwe MD Mr Joe Sibanda said the bank reviews its policies “from time to time to ensure that they in line with market related practices”.“BancABC Zimbabwe prides itself on the role it plays in (the) Zimbabwean society as a provider of financial services, employment and support of social causes.

“We operate in a highly regulated, competitive environment and offer our employees remuneration and benefit packages that are in line with our sphere of operations,” said Mr Sibanda.Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union general secretary Mr Peter Mutasa said works councils and trade unions should be apprised of reviews to employee benefits before they were undertaken.

“If they did that without proper consultation, we will challenge that in court but I am waiting for the workers there to give me an update,” said Mr Mutasa.

He said after the July 17, 2015 Supreme Court ruling allowing employers to terminate contracts on three-month notices made workers afraid to challenge their bosses’ decisions.