Dfcu has vigorously rebranded all strategic branches, days after officially taking over tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia’s Crane Bank.
Although Dfcu may become the biggest bank in the country after receiving regulatory approval to take over the bank, which at one point was the third largest in the market, it will be a matter of time since strategic decisions are still being made, they have closed down at least 23 branches as they try to find the best way of benefitting from their newly acquired assets.
Before the takeover, both banks had a total of 89 branches around the country with Dfcu having 43 branches, 3 less than the collapsed Crane Bank but Dfcu bosses have announced that only 66 branches are now open around the country with those where the two banks were competing for customers now integrated into one unit.
Some of the closed Crane Bank branches closed off so far include; Mbarara, Mukono, Masaka, Gulu, Mbale and Arua.
“Integration involves rationalization of the combined branch network bearing in mind that prior to the transaction there were locations where both dfcu Bank and Crane Bank had points of representation,” Mr Juma Kisaame the Managing Director Dfcu Bank said on Tuesday.
Mr. Kisaame added that with the purchase of Crane Bank “Dfcu Bank’s existing and new customers now have access to 66 branches and over 100 ATMs countrywide”.
As part of the merging of the accounts, some Crane bank customers will not be able to transact on their accounts. It is not clear how long the process will take. At least 500,000 Crane bank customers will be migrated to dfcu.
The process of merging accounts, especially coming from a bank as large as Crane, can be quite hectic. Merging accounts, if poorly handled, can lead to discrepancies appearing on customer accounts.
Sudhir’s people to lose jobs
Although the Dfcu boss assured former Crane Bank employees that their jobs are safe, he warned them to prepare to pack their bags when the integration process is complete.
He emphasized that those who will be found to add no value under the new arrangement will face the axe immediately.
“Crane bank employees are Dfcu Bank employees until the integration process is complete to determine whether there is a duplication of roles, which may require staff layoffs. We shall determine the ideal staffing levels for the combined business and we will have a way forward,” he added.
Bank of Uganda did not divulge the value of the transaction. It is also not clear what this take over means for Crane bank Rwanda, a subsidiary of the Uganda unit. Bank of Uganda has, however, assured customers that it will continue to protect depositors’ interests and maintain the stability of the financial sector.