CIMB to Close 60 Branches

CIMB Group is reported to be ready to close 60 of its branches across the Malaysia operation as part of cost cutting strategy.

All of the sixty branches, considered surplus to the company’s current operation, have been identified and would close shop some time in August this year. The move is expected to help the company to save up to RM60 million per year in expenditures.

It wasn’t said what would happen to the staff working with the affected branches, but the bank is looking at ways to redeploy them into other branches, perhaps taking up other roles and responsibilities. Up to this point, CIMB has denied any allegation that the company will be laying off people in the near future.

Last week, under what was called “Staff Rejuvenation Program”, CIMB encouraged 36,000 of its staff in Asia to go for prolonged unpaid leaves, which can be up to sixth months as the bank is buckling up to face tough economic crisis, which is yet to show signs of desired recovery.

CIMB is today Malaysia’s second largest financial group, and is fast catching up with its rival Maybank. From the look of things, it is quite likely the country will see CIMB to overtake Maybank in the next one to two years. As of March 2009, Maybank, with RM23.6 billion market value, led CIMB by just RM300 million, or just about 1% difference.