Standard Bank has announced its plans to cut up to 1 200 jobs and close 91 branches as part of efforts to digitise its retail and business bank. Last November, the bank cut more than 500 jobs.

The bank says most of those branches will be closed by June 2019.

Standard Bank says it will provide a comprehensive exit package for employees.

Finance union, the South African Society of Bank Officials’ (SASBO) Eugene Ebersohn, says robotics and digitisation are the core reasons for possible job losses at the bank.

“If people are going to leave on a voluntary basis it will create opportunities for people who can’t leave, or people who are surplus – so in about 5-6 weeks from now, once the applications have been received by the bank by people who want to leave voluntarily, then we will be able to see the net effect of people who might face forced retrenchments. There will be opportunities for people as there will be a staff turnover as people leave the bank in other areas. I think robotics and digitisation are the core issues,” says Ebersohn.