NIC Group hired 203 more employees last year, raising its staff count to 1,350, breaking ranks with most other lenders whose workforce has been shrinking partly due to branch closures and increased adoption of technology.
The uptick in the bank’s hiring has been linked to its opening of eight new branches- four along the Kenyan coastline in Diani, Kilifi, Malindi and Watamu and others in Kitale, Narok, Parklands and Lavington last year.
It closed the year with 52 branches, 44 being in Kenya. Some 1,042 staff serving in these branches were on permanent terms with 151 getting promotions during the year.
This means that between 2014 and last year, NIC has added 21 branches and increased employee headcount by 349. Group chairman James Ndegwa said this helped the bank reach more SMEs and retail customers.
“A significant part of NIC Group’s growth strategy over the last few years has been our branch expansion programme, which is built on the aspiration to be just a walking distance from our customers,” said Mr Ndegwa in the annual report.
This year, the group added a branch in Zanzibar to bring the total footprint across the region to 53. NIC’s impending merger with CBA Group is, however, expected to result in a sizeable workforce reduction.
The two lenders, for instance, say the merged entity will close branches in locations where there are overlaps.