Chief Executive Officer of Gulf International Bank (GIB), Dr. Yahya Alyahya, said the international financial crisis that shook the markets in the past year forces investment and internationally active banks to restructure and review their risk management practice in order to adapt to the new economic and financial environment and deal with the current challenges.
He added that with the assistance of an international consulting house GIB has taken a number of steps to strengthen its financial position and mitigate the risks introduced by the financial crises.
“One of the most important initiatives taken by the Bank to strengthen it financial position and safeguard its human resources was the sale of a significant portion of its non-core international investments and discontinuing proprietary trading activities by its London-based subsidiary, Gulf International Bank (UK) Limited,” explained Dr. Alyahya.
As a result of restructuring, a number of jobs at the Bank’s offices in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, London and New York have been made redundant or merged.
GIB has one of the highest ratios of Bahraini staff among investment banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The ratio of Bahrainis increased after restructuring from 80 per cent to 85 percent, compared with 73 per cent in the banking and financial sector and 25 per cent in the private sector at large.
“Naturally we sympathise with the staff who have lost their jobs. Our decision was necessitated by the new economic environment and aims to ensure that the Bank continues to function professionally and productively,” said Dr. Alyahya.
“GIB was keen to help dismissed staff and offered them a generous compensation. Bahraini staff received an equivalent of 1.3-month salaries for each year of service from the Bank’s saving scheme as well as an additional grant of one-month salary for each year of service, in addition to a 3-month salary for the notice period,” he added.
Non-Bahraini staff received a similar compensation, as the Bank tries to be fair to all staff. All of the dismissed staff have accepted the Bank’s offer to end their service and signed the redundancy agreement.