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Digitization is shrinking jobs in Kenya’s banking sector.

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Technology has improved how banks offer services. However, digitization has led to mass layoffs in various banks. KCB Group’s employee headcount reduced by 240 in the first six months of the year. Joshua Oigara, the group’s CEO says that increased investment in digital outlets is making staff reductions inevitable.

Mass lay-offs have affected various banks in the country at a time where most banks’ profit seem to bloom. KCB group held a staff base of 5980 in June 2019 as compared to 6220 at the end of 2018. At the same time, Equity bank shed 392 employees last year as a result of growing digital and agency banking.

In response to queries from Business Daily, Equity Group’s CEO Dr. James Mwangi noted that there has been a mass migration of transactions to digital channels.

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“97% of the bank’s transactions were done outside the branch on mobile channels, ATMs and Agent locations. Therefore, there has been no need to replace employees leaving through natural attrition, resignation or sabbatical leave,” commented Dr. Mwangi.

Mr. Oigara who also chairs the Kenya Bankers Association believes that the lost jobs in the banking sector would be created elsewhere through linkages with the sector.

“The future of jobs in the banks is actually to create jobs in different sectors and businesses by working with entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Oigara.



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