Heritage Bank defies FG, sack 400 workers 

Heritage Bank has defied FG’s directive for banks to halt the mass sack of their employee as it sacked about 400 of its employee, National Daily has gathered.

It was gathered that the bank which acquired Enterprise Bank with about N56 billion ($281 million) has also penciled down more workers for sack which cut across the top, middle and low cadres.

Recall that the bank was reported to be facing financial crisis and unable to meet customers’ immediate withdrawal requests last year, and had wiped out all foreign currency domiciliary accounts through physical theft of cash by the bank’s directors.

It was further reported that First Bank Nigeria Limited, which handles Heritage Bank’s universal clearing activities, had threatened to blacklist the lender and stop further clearing transactions if its outstanding deficit of over N5bn was not cleared.

The report was vehemently denied by the bank’s management, the CBN also refuted it.

A top management source in the bank, who pleaded anonymity, said that the sack cut across the top, middle and low cadres. He said that the mass sack was creating apprehension and fears among the remaining workers.

The source said that the remaining workers, especially workers from the former Enterprise Bank, feared they could be disengaged anytime.

He said that workers from the former Enterprise Bank were the most affected in the ongoing restructuring exercise embarked on to improve the bank’s profitability.

Meanwhile, the bank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, confirmed the sack but said that figures were not correct, adding that the mass sack was not limited to the bank alone but across all operators in the industry.

The bank embarked on the massive sack in spite of the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige’s directive to financial institutions to desist from the sacking spree.

The federal government through the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige had last year directed banks in the country to halt the mass sack frenzy in the sector.

The Minister said the decision was predicated on the fact that the continued retrenchment and redundancy by the banks and other financial institutions were jeopardizing the outcome of the conciliatory and mediatory processes being undertaken by the ministry