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LAHORE: Samba Bank Limited (SBL) employees have urged the central bank to ask Saudi National Bank to provide a package to SBL staff that apprehends downsizing after the Saudi bank decided to exit Pakistan and disinvest its shares in SBL.

In a letter, SBL employees have called upon SBP to prevail upon the management of Saudi National Bank to provide an appropriate package for all SBL employees. According to the employees, the majority shares of the SBL were acquired in the year 2007-8 by Saudi Arabia Financial Group at a time when SBL was a loss-making entity with a bleak future within the banking industry in Pakistan.

They stressed that they had given their heart and soul to energise the loss-making bank to achieve a turnaround by 2013. “SBL has now become a vibrant profit-making entity and declared dividends in 2020 and 2021 amounting Rs1.361 billion.”

They said at the point of growing sense of economic stability of the bank, SNB suddenly decided to exit from Pakistan by disinvesting shares in SBL. The central bank has also approved the scheme of disinvestment.

They said new sponsors would bring in their own business strategy, stating that two out of three shortlisted bidders had plans to merge operations of SBL within and into their existing banking operations. It would result in termination of services of many employees in due course, they said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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