The GCB Bank Limited has confirmed to Citi Business News that between three and five hundred of its workers will be laid off in the coming months.

According to the bank the layoff is part of a restructuring exercise to make the bank competitive. Earlier reports suggested that management of GCB Bank was considering laying off some 500 workers.

The bank came under severe criticism from workers in 2011 after reports emerged that it intended to lay off about one thousand workers.

Sources familiar with the matter tell Citi Business News management of the bank may receive similar backlash and resistance from workers over the current move. The bank as of December 2014 had a workforce of 1,944. In 2013 its workforce was 2,083.

Speaking to Citi Business News at the sidelines of the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) the Managing Director of the GCB Bank Limited Simon Dornoo attributed the laying off to raising operating cost.

“The bank has changed over the years we have invested a lot in technology and these basically has been driven by the fact that there is competitive pressure, regulatory pressure, rising operating cost and to sustain our competitive position we have to restructure the bank and if that means we have to reorganize our labour force and if that is what is needed to sustain or keep the bank competitive we will have to do that. Whatever we have to do about the restructuring we will follow due process.”

Simon Dornoo said the medium term prospect of the bank looks good ‘we are currently performing but there are risks on the horizon that affects the sustained performance of the bank’.

Meanwhile GCB Bank according to its 2014 financials recorded strong financial performance, consolidating its position as one of the top performing banks in the country.

The bank’s profit before tax shot up to 382,436 million cedis for 2014 from the 311,233 million cedis it recorded in 2013. Its profit after tax was 270,057 million cedis for 2014 from the 223,508 million cedis it recorded in 2013.

Deposits of customers increased from the 2,630,283 billion cedis recorded in 2013 to 3,078,071 billion cedis recorded in 2014.

The bank’s total income increased by about 29% to GHC731million, which was driven by volume growth across all business lines namely consumer and corporate banking and treasury while total assets have increased by 24.8% to GHC4,232,819 billion driven by growth in loans and advances and investment.

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