Earlier this week Standard Bank, one of South Africa’s largest financial institutions, announced that in an effort to digitise its retail and business departments, would cut around 1 200 jobs and close 91 branches across the country.

According to Reuters, Standard Bank is doing this as part of an attempt to cut costs and adapt to customers growing preference to online and mobile banking, preferring to do the majority of their transacting via their PC or smartphone.

“This has not been an easy decision to make, we would include a comprehensive exit package that goes beyond the legal requirements,” said the Bank in a statement.

Reuters adds that last week the financial institution said it grew its full year earnings at less than half the pace it saw in 2017, which too is a likely factor as to why they’re cutting so many jobs and closing branches down. The majority of the branches due to close will shut down by June of this year.

Standard Bank noted that new job opportunities would become available within the bank, meaning the total number of employees that lose their jobs could be lower. Precisely what those new opportunities would be, however, is yet to be determined.

[Source – Reuters]