More job losses as East Africa's largest bank set to close doors

KCB will soon shut down some of its branches in...

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Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is planning to shut down some of its branches in South Sudan due to logistical and operational challenges that have proved difficult to sustain.

The bank, which has 19 branches in the country, cited among other things civil strife, devaluation of the country’s currency and hyperinflation which negatively impacted its earnings in 2016.

Job losses will most likely be the aftermath result with KCB stating that the actual number of workers to be affected will be known in due time.

“Naturally, any branch closures will lead to staff re-assessment but, as mentioned earlier, this is work in progress and we cannot therefore, at this time, quantify the number of staff who will be affected,” the bank said.

KCB made its way into the country in 2006 and within no time rose to become the most profitable unit.

The bank faced major macroeconomic difficulties in the continent’s newest nation which saw it record a loss of Sh759 million last year from a net profit of Sh17.8 billion in 2015.

It is the second time that the unit is facing business hurdles in the country after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013 following clashes between government forces and rebels linked to former vice-president Riek Machar.

Similar banks operating in South Sudan have also booked massive losses as a result of hyperinflation and loss in value of the local currency.

Co-op Bank reported a Sh498.3 million hit from the South Sudan hyperinflation and Equity Bank suffered a Sh129 million monetary loss.

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