dfcu Bank taken to court over former Crane Bank staff
October 25—The manner in which dfcu Bank treated the former workers of Crane Bank has landed it in court after most of them were eventually laid off in the process of combining operations and strengthening its top five position among Uganda’s biggest banks.
The bank reported 2017 first half profits of some $30 million, the highest of all Uganda’s financial institutions for the period and this was largely explained by dfcu Bank’s purchase of Crane Bank earlier this year.
High Court Registrar Sarah Langa said early this week, the affected former Crane Bank employees satisfied court by complying with the legal provisions of preparing a joint suit.
Their lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde, said early this week, his clients would file a case against the bank. “The High Court has granted 10 former workers permission to represent over 400 of their colleagues who were unlawfully terminated from Dfcu service,” Ssemakadde said.
He said, “They are now required to publish notice to others in similar circumstances so that those who don’t wish to be part of the suit can say so.”
When contacted, Dfcu Bank officials confirmed the planned downsizing which they said was part of integration of the transferred business into the existing Dfcu Bank structure.
Dfcu Bank acquired Crane Bank assets and liabilities following the conclusion of a purchase and assumption agreement with Bank of Uganda on Friday 27 January 2017.
However, dfcu Bank officials said dispensing with many of the former Crane Bank staff was to avoid duplication of roles in the combined bank organization structure, and also on account of differences in technology and processes between dfcu Bank and the defunct Crane Bank.
Dfcu’s Head of Brand, Marketing and Communication Jude Kansiime said; “The decision to lay off the former Crane Bank workers was also due to the rationalization of the combined branch network to avert duplication at locations where both dfcu Bank and CBL have a presence.”
Ssemakadde said his clients were entitled to reinstatement or compensation, arguing the bank “violated numerous norms and standards in our laws.”