Citibank Korea to Reduce Branches; Transforming Full-Time Employees to Contract Based Workers
Citigroup Inc., stated that it is closing around 100 branches of Citibank Korea. The company has released a statement on Thursday which has clarified that the company is going to offer financial services through online channels. This even announced to reduce the number of physical branches.
Currently, Citigroup are having 132 of its branches across Korea. The company has decided to retain the only 32 branches in the company. Although the company has stated to offer services through online channels, the dismissing of physical branches raised a speculation about the financial services offering by the company.
The dismissing of physical branches will also affect the dismissing of employees. Around 80 workers at the branches will have to struggle with unemployment. It might be possible that the company will relocate the employees. The company has planned to transform the branches into call centers in order to conduct their financial service through Internet channels. *
As reported by Korea Herald, about 800 workers at the branches facing closures will be relocated to what the bank calls "non-face-to-face" channels offering financial advice and other services. The company has decided to offer financial service through the Internet or telephone calls, stated by the bank.
Besides, the head consumer business of Korean diversion of Citigroup disclosed a statement that they do not have a plan for personnel downsizing during the process of implanting the next generation consumer financial strategies. Besides, the bank has even revealed a separate statement earlier this week.
Although the Citigroup Inc. has decided to downsize the branches, the labor union of Citibank Korea has criticized the bank for trying to relocate the staff to call centers. The union's full-scale backlash was created at the beginning of April.
According to Business Korea, the union even claimed that the relocation of workers is for full-time regular workers and call center work is a contracted based work rather than full time works. There are speculations that the company's plan to transform the branches into call centers even includes the transformation of full-time employees to contract-based workers.