Job cuts: Standard Chartered Bank cuts India headcount as digital alternatives gain steam

British lender Standard Chartered Bank has downsized employee strength in the country by 200 as digital banking alternatives gain steam, sources said on Thursday. The downsizing is majorly in retail vertical, largely due to the reduced need for people manning operations in face of the cheaper digital alternatives, they said.

The bank’s overall strength in India has now reduced to 7,300 people, the sources said.

When contacted, a Standard Chartered Bank spokesperson confirmed the downsizing. “We have been working on multiple initiatives, including digitisation, to drive performance…as result of
this transition, a small number of Retail Banking roles have fallen away,” he said.

The sources said 85 percent of the banks payment transactions, over 80 percent of the overall banking transactions by the 24-35 age group and 83 percent of the application on-boarding is presently being done digitally.

The spokesperson said that retail banking in the country is “core to strategic ambitions and growth plans”. As the number of roles go down, the bank is working closely on existing opportunities, fair separation packages and offering outplacement services, he said.

The bank joins a string of foreign lender peers which have either cut business presence in the country or laid off employees. Among others, British financial giant HSBC has announced to halve the total number of branches in Asia’s third largest economy as digital streams gain currency.

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