According to reports reaching us from reliable sources, National Bank of Kenya (NBK) is planning to close no fewer than ten of its branches in the coming weeks. This exercise, expected to be completed in the second quarter will lead to undisclosed number of job losses in addition to the recent early retirement exercise which targeted 150 employees aged above 35.
NBK currently operates 85 branches and is majority-owned by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Treasury.
Of late, the bank hasn’t been performing well although many observers hold that NBK Chief Executive Wilfred Musau is doing his best at the whelm. They attribute the bank’s woes to his predecessor’s ambitious branch expansionist plans.
Mr. Musau took over the reins of the bank in April 2016 from Mr. Munir Ahmed, who was fired over claims of financial malpractices. The enactment of the interest rate capping law in 2016 has also only served to worsen the bank’s financial position.
Now insiders say that unless broad and urgent interventions are put in place, and the interest rate cap law done away with or reviewed, NBK will be in for a rough ride this year.