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With the banking industry set for mergers and acquisitions following the drastic hike in the minimum capital requirement, labour unions have been asked to prepare workers for the resultant changes in the industry.

According to Mrs. Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana, bank workers need to be adequately prepared for the imminent mergers and takeovers since such interventions have far reaching effects on workers.

Addressing the 3rd joint quadrennial Stanchart PMSU/UNICOF delegates’ conference in Accra at the weekend, she stressed the need for the local unions and managements to collaborate in planning for the mergers and acquisitions.

The Bank of Ghana earlier this month increased the minimum capital requirement for commercial banks from GH¢120million to GH¢ 400million, triggering uncertainty in the banking sector as the move would adversely affect many of the locally owned banks.

There are ongoing talks among the banks for mergers and acquisitions.

Clearly not all the 36 banks can meet the high base requirement, Mrs Nettey explains, and noted the development has implications for jobs in the industry.

“The international banks, including Stanchart, and few of the major local banks can meet the requirement, but many others cannot.

“Bank workers need to understand the implications on their jobs,” she said.

According to her, good preparation would help to avoid the Nigerian situation, a few years ago where a hike in the minimum capital requirement resulted in an avalanche of acquisitions, closures and relocation of banks, leaving many unprepared workers frustrated.

She commended the Stanchart’s local Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) and Union of Industry Commerce & Finance Workers (UNICOF) for the continuous support and cooperation with management of the bank, and gave the assurance that the management would continue to reciprocate the gesture.

Touching on the theme of the conference-“Unionism in the contemporary workplace: prospects and challenges”- Mrs Nettey said modern unionism required unions to act as strategic partners to management for business growth for the benefit of all.

That, she said, was because management and the unions must pursue a common objective of enhancing productivity for profitability so as to advance the welfare of all workers.

By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com

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