A new banking crisis hits Jordan

Published September 24th, 2012 - 12:03 GMT
Struggling to get Dinars from the bank? A new banking crisis is hitting the Kingdom, according to customers
Struggling to get Dinars from the bank? A new banking crisis is hitting the Kingdom, according to customers

After sitting for almost an hour waiting to be served at a busy Amman bank, Mohammad Yousef decided to fill a complaint form criticising the level of services provided by the branch.

“It is absurd to have only two tellers serving this number of customers,” Yousef told other clients waiting for service.

Salem Awamleh, a worker at an insurance company, deplored the decline in the levels of services claiming that banks are not hiring new staff. Awamleh, who was waiting at another branch in the capital to deposit money into the account of the company he works for, chose to go out of the building to smoke a cigarette.

“Look at the counter. There should be six tellers serving the clients but there are only two,” he noted.

The branch manager told The Jordan Times that the management’s policy was to freeze hiring for a while.

The banker, who requested anonymity, blamed the shortage in staff to several factors.

As some employees quit because they get better offers to work in the Gulf or for other local banks, the branch manager indicated that the management sought not replace them.

The banker admitted that clients “very often” complain about the quality of services and staff shortage which is due to top management policies that place employees at new branches or offices catering for large numbers of clients.

According to Adli Kandah, director general of the Association of Banks in Jordan, figures show that financial institutions were hiring and not firing.

“Our data shows that in 2011 the number of staff hired by banks was higher than those who were laid off,” Kandah told The Jordan Times over the phone Sunday.

However, he noted that ATMs are influencing some banks to reduce staff.

“There might be some problems in certain banks or branches but most financial institutions in Jordan are providing quality services,” he said.

Haider Rashid, president of the General Association of Banks, Insurance and Auditing Employees, said that in lieu of laying off part of their staff, some banks freeze recruitment to cut or control their costs.

In 2011, according to Rashid, few financial institutions decided to lay off some employees, citing the UK-based HSBC, which cut around 30 jobs in Jordan as part of its plan to reduce the number of its workforce in the region.

According to Kandah, there are over 17,000 persons working in the Kingdom’s banking sector

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