First Gulf Bank of Abu Dhabi to cut 10 percent of workforce - sources

Reuters
A man walks into a branch of First Gulf Bank along Khalid Bin Al-Waleed Road
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A man walks into a branch of First Gulf Bank along Khalid Bin Al-Waleed Road in Dubai January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro

DUBAI/ABU DHABI (Reuters) - First Gulf Bank (ABD:FGB) (FGB), the United Arab Emirates' third largest bank, is cutting about 300 jobs, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring, sources familiar with the matter said.

FGB, controlled by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, informed employees about the plan last week and the cuts will mainly affect its consumer banking business, the sources said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public.

Abu Dhabi-based FGB is among a number of UAE banks which are seeking to expand their overseas operations and lower reliance on their home market, where more than 50 local and international banks compete to win retail, commercial and investment banking businesses in a country of about 8 million people.

"As part of a recent reorganisation, the bank has reduced a number of roles in its consumer banking operation. This reduction in the workforce underlines the bank's commitment to managing its costs in a prudent and sustainable manner," FGB said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

It did not give any further details of the job cuts.

As part of the plan, the bank will cut nearly 80 jobs at its bancassurance division, a business which mainly involves the sale of third-party insurance products, and about 120 jobs at its credit cards business, one banking source familiar with the plan said.

A second banking source said the job cuts were part of a broader restructuring in which the lender was streamlining operations and removing excess staff in certain departments. FGB plans to strengthen its investment banking division and has been making targeted hires to beef up that department, the source added.

(Reporting by Dinesh Nair, Stanley Carvalho and Praveen Menon; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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