Dubai banking giant lay-offs due to slowdown in region: report

Dubai banking giant lay-offs due to slowdown in region: report

Dubai-based banking giant Noor Bank is in the process if laying off staff with up to 200 jobs, according to local reports.

Banking sources told news agency Reuters, the cutbacks by one of the region’s biggest lenders is in a bid to adjust to more subdued growth levels in the local financial services sector.

The number of jobs cut in the past few weeks was less than 100, but sources told Reuters that the final figure for the planned redundancies could be more than 200. The Islamic bank’s total workforce before the redundancies was between 1,200-1,500, the sources said.

‘Robust evaluation’

“The Bank has seen significant growth over the past few years – and following a robust evaluation, believes that now is the time to streamline its functions and align to a new operating model,” Noor said in a statement to Reuters in response to a request for comment on the redundancies.

One of the sources told Reuters that the redundancies were across the board, while another said the corporate and investment banking units would not be affected.

Banking profits in the region been falling across the board during the past two years, partly due to lower oil prices but also as a to more subdued levels of economic growth and an increase in soured loans.

Some banks have merged, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, combining this year to create First Abu Dhabi Bank, while others have shed staff. Last year, Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai’s largest lender, cut 100 people from its subsidiary Emirates Money, while Emirates Islamic, ENBD’s sharia-compliant arm, laid off more than 300.

Noor, which was established in 2008. John Iossifidis, the former head of corporate and investment banking at Dubai’s Mashreq, was appointed as its chief executive, in April.

Noor statement

In its statement on the staff cuts, the bank added it made “every effort “to find new positions for talented staff, but that it will “part ways with some staff”, adding that it would provide support for people looking for jobs elsewhere.

The bank is 87.8% owned by the emirate’s government, members of the ruling family of Dubai and a select group of government of Dubai nominated shareholders, according to its website.