The exercise, it was further leant, was to enable the lender realign its operation and pursue a long term growth strategy.
Some of the downsized staff members were said to have opted to resign while management approved severance package for them in line with the bank’s policy.
The lender last May, forged a strategic alliance with Black Trituium, equity and investment fund manager.
The bank said it in a report on its website that it was driven by the vision to be the retail bank of choice for all Nigerians and “this is at the core of all that we do”.
Investigation revealed that the affected members of staff were those that achieved less than 40 per cent of their performance target, which affected the lender’s overall profitability in recent years.
The downsizing, which cut across all cadres including junior, middle and top management positions, happened at a time majority of banks are battling with poor profitability over harsh economic conditions and heightened business risks from the plunge in crude oil prices.
The bank is also said to have attracted specialist skills to its workforce since the relocation of its head office from Abuja to Lagos, which was in line with its plan to grow market share in viable clusters of the retail market.
A source close to the bank said the new focus of the business has led to significant enhancement of human capital in its various business units.
This was with a view to injecting fresh ideas, initiatives and energies to strengthen its various departments with capabilities to pursue the attainment of strategic business focus in the Agricultural financing, retail/Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and development of rural economy.
It was further learnt, the bank recently hired about 200 new staff to drive the transformation initiative while about 100 other staff were said to have been promoted.