By Elsa Baxter
Demo held to demand end to layoffs after over 600 lose jobs in banking sector last year.
Bahraini bankers held a protest in Manama on Saturday to demand an end to layoffs after more than 600 people lost their jobs in the sector last year.
According to a report in the Gulf Daily News, a two-hour demonstration was held outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
Bankers claimed at least four banks have made staff redundant over the past month.
Khalil Zainal, head of the Bahrain Bankers' Union, told the paper: "No-one gives us accurate figures but, according to the Central Bank of Bahrain, in 2009 there were 636 job losses in the banking sector.”
Lenders which saw staff cuts were reported to include Investcorp Bank, Addax Investment Bank, Ahli United Bank (AUB), RealCapita, Gulf International Bank and Bahrain Middle East Bank.
"We thought that by mid-2009 this crisis was over and these actions would stop, but by the end of last year we heard more banks were planning layoffs and in the last four or five weeks, four or five banks are laying off people but in a very quiet way,” Zainal said.
Sadly, the veteran Bahraini trade union leader Abduljalil Al Hoori, 65, died of heart attack during the demonstration. He had just returned from Germany where he had undergone heart surgery, his former colleagues told the paper.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.