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Mashreq may move jobs to India, Egypt or Pakistan to save costs

Muzaffar Rizvi/Dubai
Filed on January 6, 2021
Mashreq, Dubai’s third-biggest lender, reported a nine-month operating income of Dh4 billion.

(File photo)

Relocation plan expected to be completed in three phases by October this year

Mashreq Bank plans to move nearly half of its employees to more cost-friendly locations and allow others to work from home as part of a dramatic reorganisation that will spare its Emirati staff, a Bloomberg report said on Wednesday.

Referring to people familiar with the matter, the newswire report said the oldest privately-owned bank in the UAE notified employees this week that it will be shifting jobs to other locations including India, Egypt or Pakistan.

“Mashreq will also eliminate a significant number of existing roles and create new positions for staff moving to what it calls ‘centres of excellence’,” the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

The relocation plan is expected to be completed in three phases by October this year, according to the report.

When contacted by Khaleej Times, the bank declined to confirm nor deny the report.

Mashreq and its subsidiaries employed almost 5,000 people as of September 2019. The Bloomberg report further said some employees will be permanently allowed to operate remotely in the offshore centres.

It also mentioned that Mashreq is planning to reduce salaries for an additional seven per cent of its remaining UAE staff by turning those jobs into work-from-home positions. However, the changes will exclude Mashreq’s Emirati employees, it said.

Dubai’s third-biggest lender recorded a 12.3 per cent decline in its nine-month operating income to Dh4 billion due to a tough operating environment and a decline in interest rates. It posted a Dh352 million net profit during the January-September 2020 period compared to Dh1.76 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

“Despite proactively managing the bank’s liquidity position and capital adequacy ratio, the continued market volatility and uncertain economic climate has led to a 12 per cent reduction in our operating income which is primarily due to the prevailing environment of low interest rates. We have operated prudently in 2020, bringing operating costs down by 5.5 per cent,” Ahmed Abdelaal, group CEO of Mashreq Bank, said in an earlier statement.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

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