Ecobank to shut branches, cut jobs across 40 African Countries

Customers crowd the entrance to a branch of Ecobank in the Plateau business district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Another bank says it has closed its doors amid a political crisis in Ivory Coast, as residents in the commercial hub lined up at banks to try to withdraw their savings amid rumors of a cash shortage. British bank Standard Chartered confirmed Wednesday that it had suspended its operations in Ivory Coast, joining two other banks and the regional stock exchange.(AP Photo/Emanuel Ekra)/Ivory_Coast_Banks_CIV101/1102161742

According to Reuters, Pan African lender Ecobank plans to shut down a number of branches and cut jobs as it focuses on digital platforms.

The bank operates in nearly 40 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and employees more than 17,000 people.

In the full year 2016, the lender posted a pre tax loss of $131 million. In the first quarter of 2017, the bank reported a pre-tax profit of $75 million, a decline of 17 percent from a year earlier.

“This means reducing our branch network, using technology to deliver to customers and processing transactions centrally. We believe that this business model can deliver profitability to our shareholders.” The Bank’s Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi was quoted by Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum for Africa in Durban, South Africa.

Mr Ayeyemi added that the expansion into digital platforms would lead to lay offs.