UAE's third largest lender said to cut close to 100 jobs

Sources say First Gulf Bank shed jobs last week in latest sign that banks are adjusting to deteriorating market conditions
UAE's third largest lender said to cut close to 100 jobs
First Gulf Bank (FGB)
By Reuters
Mon 23 Nov 2015 05:22 PM

First Gulf Bank (FGB), the third-largest lender by assets in the United Arab Emirates, has cut close to 100 jobs, three sources aware of the matter said on Monday, in the latest sign of Gulf banks adjusting to deteriorating market conditions.

Economic growth in the Gulf region has been stalling due to lower oil prices and subsequent cuts in state spending, which is being felt in the local banking system including through squeezed liquidity from reduced deposits and increasing default rates among small and medium-sized businesses.

"First Gulf Bank released a number of staff as a result of efficiency measures that have streamlined and reduced roles across the operation," the company said in a statement, confirming what Reuters heard from several sources.

It did not give details on the number of job cuts, but said: "This is in line with FGB's robust approach to cost and resources management which remains a key driver of FGB's successful financial performance."

Controlled by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, FGB has over 2,500 employees. It posted a worse-than-expected 0.4 percent drop in third-quarter net profit after loan income fell slightly.

FGB has cut jobs from departments including corporate and investment banking, the sources said on condition of anonymity as the details have not been made public.

It is not the only bank to be implementing staffing cuts to cope with economic conditions.

HSBC has cut jobs in its retail and commercial banking units in the UAE, a source told Reuters on Monday, as the bank prepares for lower growth next year and implements a global cost-cutting strategy aimed at boosting dividends.

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