Business Times

Seylan cuts 1,000 staff; now at optimum levels

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Seylan Bank has cut its staff by 1,000 during the past three years and is now operating at optimum l4 levels, officials say.

“Three years ago we were heavily overstaffed. The number was 4100 and now it stands at some 3,000 because we managed to reduce it,” Eastman Narangoda, Chairman Seylan told the Business Times.
He said that Seylan brought in a new retirement age – 55 years from the then 58 years to shrink the numbers, while allowing some staff to go on no pay for two years. He said that Seylan has 8% of employees nearing retirement age as at now.

“Many went abroad on no pay for two years and settled in those countries and didn’t return,” he said. He also noted that the Rs. 750 million Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) had 300 staff accepting it.
Mr. Narangoda added that this VRS has hit Seylan’s half yearly bottomline, but for the second half, the bank has stepped up its run for the originally planned targets by accelerating their loan recovery processes, while increasing their loan and leasing drives.

He was also hopeful that with the expected growth in the economy and credit growth gathering momentum, Seylan would be able to grow its loan book significantly in the coming years. He added that Seylan’s loan book would be driven by long term lending for large scale investment projects coupled with agriculture and small and medium sectors.

“We also aim to bring non performing loans to a single digit,” he added.

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