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FT: Malaysian Banks to Cut 15,000 Jobs Despite Protests
By Douglas Wong

26/7/2001 6:05 pm Thu

[Apakah bank sedang sakit atau sihat? Rencana ini mendedahkan apa yang berlaku kepada sektor perbankan sekarang akibat NPL yang semakin meningkat. - Editor] c=Article&cid=FT32L7CCLPC&live=true&tagid= ZZZZV1CYA0C&subheading=financial%20services

Malaysian banks to cut 15,000 jobs despite protests

By Douglas Wong in Singapore

Published: July 25 2001 16:57GMT

Malaysia's banks are pressing ahead with downsizing exercises that are expected to result in about 15,000 job losses, despite complaints from the national trade union congress.

To date, Malaysia's two largest banks, Maybank and Bumiputera-Commerce Bank, have cut their workforces by 10 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, or a total of 2,650 jobs through voluntary separation schemes.

Affin Bank, another of the 10 Malaysian banks left standing after a consolidation exercise that brought together 54 financial institutions at the end of last year, plans to cut its 4,000-strong workforce by 25 per cent, Dow Jones Newswires reported on Wednesday.

Affin Holdings, the bank's listed parent, had reported a net loss of M$142m (US$37.4m) last week, which it blamed on rising bad loans at its recently acquired BSN Commercial Bank. While the banks have been offering generous separation packages - Maybank said it would spend M$90m on its exercise and Bumiputera-Commerce M$150m - unions have attacked the schemes.

Zainal Rampak, Malaysian TUC president, said last week that banks were failing to honour pledges given that the mergers would not result in job losses, and replacing workers with non-unionised staff.

The National Union of Bank Employees has warned that 15,000 of Malaysia's almost 80,000 bank staff will lose their jobs, but the government said it expects less than 10,000 retrenchments in the sector. Analysts said banks have to cut costs in the face of rising bad loans, but may have to spend as much as a total of M$1bn on voluntary schemes.