Wednesday, October 21, 2020

BBS set to cut jobs just before commercialisation

Commercial banker aspirant – BBS Limited has confirmed its intentions to cut an unspecified number of jobs as it prepares to take on big players in the banking space head-on. 

The first indigenous commercial bank to be is currently working on its new company structure, a move that would see some of its employees being thrown out on the streets. 

Managing Director – Pius Molefe says the intention is to bring in new skills and competencies, which they do not have under the current building society model, adding that that it will ensure that they are able to deliver diversified products and services as a commercial bank.

“We want to make sure that BBSL Limited is highly competitive going into the future,” says top-man Molefe.

While he maintains that the commercialisation process is still at an infant stage where they are still consisting with internal stakeholders, he says the banker does not expect cut a significant number of employees.

 “Some of the skills are in the operational banking area, information technology and treasury,” he said.

Molefe said an update specific to the commercialisation exercise will be issued in due course.

Meanwhile the banker recently hinted that its pending financial statements for the year that ended December 2018 could be made public by the end of this month – February 2020.

The banker says it has already prepared draft of the financials which now awaits to go through a “quality assurance process” before being published.

“After the financial statements have been quality assured, they will be subjected to internal governance processes. As a result, it is estimated that the December 2018 audited financials will be ready by the end of February 2020. In the meantime, trading in BBS Limited shares remain suspended”, reads part of a communique sent by the bank to shareholders and capital markets.

The capital market and investors are eagerly waiting for BBS limited to publish it pending financial results whose delay has been directly linked to an external audit that was carried by KPMG.

In August 2019, BBS issued a statement saying that its external auditors – KPMG are expected to kick start the finalisation of the audit of the company’s 2018 financials.

At the time, BBS also said that KPMG will be better placed to make estimates on the time left before the audit of the financials is closed.

Since March 2019, the commercial bank-to-be has not been able to publish its full year results a thing they blame on the on-going demutualisation process.

BBS limited kick started the process to turn into a full commercial bank after its shareholders approved the demutualisation process in late 2017.

As per the BSEL Trading and Listing rules the banker’s shares which trade on the Serala over the counter board remain suspended. The shares have been on suspension since April 2019.

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