Lifting does not apply to employees holding managerial positions
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) lifted the suspension placed over some of its employees. The decision was made by the Board of the state giant, chaired by Tekelewold Atnafu, former governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, after reaching consensus with the management under the leadership of Abie Sano, President of CBE.
The Bank first suspended over 400 employees after discovering that they allegedly violated its rules and procedures, while providing services to clients. No suspension with such scale has been witnessed in the banking industry until now, which is characterized by stiff competition to hire and retain banking professionals.
While the lifting does not apply to suspended employees holding a managerial position, the majority of suspended employees are now back to work after being penalized 10 percent of their salaries for violating the rules of the Bank.
“We are back to work after receiving a final warning, though nothing has been said over our unpaid last month’s salary, which we hope to receive next month,” said an employee working at one of the branches of CBE in Addis Ababa.
The majority of the employees were suspended after being suspected of settling shipping payments in USD for importers without a Letter of Credit (LC) permit from the bank.
Some employees have also received a suspension letter after being suspected of making similar payments to diaspora account holders in foreign currency. They were blamed for receiving the equivalent amount in Birr, though it was supposed to be covered by the customer.
According to sources, the Bank has also written warning letters to the suspended employees who were allowed to get back to work, adding to the penalty placed on their salaries. “Violating any rules afterwards will result in termination,” the bank told the employees.
With total assets of over one trillion Birr, CBE is the largest employer among financial institutions. It claims to have over 33 million customers, with 1,759 branches. In the first quarter of the existing fiscal year, it grossed a profit of 6.8 billion birr, a record-high performance.
Repeated attempts to get response from Yeabsira Kebede, Corporate Communications Director at the Bank, bore no fruit.