Saturday, January 24, 2009

Former Chambishi employees complain over benefits

Former Chambishi employees complain over benefits
Written by Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:45:54 AM

SOME former employees of Chambishi Metals Plc have complained over Standard Chartered Bank’s alleged decision to deduct 100 per cent of their outstanding loans from miners’ terminal benefits without their consent.

The workers complained that it was unfair for Standard Chartered Bank to deduct 100 per cent of the outstanding loan repayment because the decision meant they would walk away with nothing after their retrenchment.

One of the employees, Conrad Malama, said the bank should have deducted only 50 per cent of the outstanding payment since the loans were secured through Madison Insurance.

“Surprisingly, when we went to the bank, we found that they had deducted 100 percent claiming that they would only refund the 50 per cent after insurance settles their claim. We are very surprised because their colleagues at Barclays [Bank] are only deducting 50 per cent and they both insured the loans with the same company,” Malama said.

He said there was no need for Standard Chartered Bank to hold on to their money because they were the ones who even enticed them to get the loans.

“They arranged for insurance by asking us to contribute 500,000 for that purpose,” he said.

Malama claimed that most people who had acquired loans with Standard Chartered Bank had only worked for less than two years at Chambishi Metals and that their terminal benefits were very little.

“So if they deduct 100 per cent of the outstanding loan payment, how are people going to survive?” he asked.

He accused the bank of acting unprofessionally on the matter especially that they could not seek audience with the parties involved to find a way of settling the outstanding payment.

“They have not even seen my redundancy letter so how could they decide to deduct everything?” he asked. “Banks are supposed to get things officially and not on the streets or market places.”

He charged that many more former employees were affected by Standard Chartered Bank’s decision.

Another former employee Charles Chansa urged Standard Chartered Bank to give room to individuals to negotiate how they would pay back the loan.

“Some people may be capable of paying back; they cannot just effect recovery of money minus involving the owners,” said Chansa.

When contacted, Standard Chartered regional head of corporate affairs Luke Njovu stated that the bank was aware of the issue and had set up a special care unit on the Copperbelt to deal with each customers’ account on an individual basis.

“As per group policy, Standard Chartered Bank does not divulge specific client information,” stated Njovu.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home