Group Managing Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe announced that some of the bank’s staff, most of whom are outsourced and are offering “non-essential services” would have to go.
He expressed his regret that the bank had to come to terms with the present economic realities.
In an emotion-laden voice, Wigwe explained that the bank “probably won’t need as many security men as required, even to the fact that we are not going to have all our branches open between now and December.
We certainly don’t need all the security men. We don’t need all the tea girls. We don’t all the cleaners. We don’t need all the tellers et cetera et cetera.”
“So that number of staff which represent 75% of our staff strength, I think, is the one we basically need to speak with their employers with a view to getting them to rationalise to the level that we think will be necessary to basically sustain a mean but actually a customer service oriented institution.”
In the video that might have been recorded by a staffer of the bank or an interested party and posted on Twitter, Wigwe also talked about professional cost, which he described as being tricky.
He continued, “The second has to do with our professional cost. Now that is one is very tricky and it is tricky because I do understand and appreciate that it is going to bring its own pain to staff. We basically have to make the adjustment the same way it sounded when we spoke ten days ago with respect to basically cutting down cost.”
In a move to show that all would be affected and that he also would not be spared, Wigwe made it clear that he would take the largest pay cut in the bank.
“I would be the first to take the hit and I’m going to take the largest cut, which would be as much as forty per cent (40%).
The rest, we shall have to cascade right through the institution. Everybody may have to make some adjustments of some sort,” he said.
He reiterated that it was not the best of times. He stated that the bank understood what people are going but “we also understand the higher calling of creating an institution that can continue to provide for us; and the fact that tomorrow when things do improve, we shall revert to what is normal.