Sarawak govt to find out why bank closing Bintulu branch

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the government will find out why Standard Chartered Bank is planning to close its branch in Bintulu.

“It is the bank’s decision but they must ensure that the welfare of their employees are taken care of,” he said when asked about the impending closure after he launched the Sarawak Cuepacs office here today.

Earlier, the Sarawak Bank Employees’ Union had urged Abang Johari and Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing to intervene by calling on the bank to defer the closure or at least ensure it was carried out “in a sincere and humane manner”.

Its general-secretary Law Kiat Min said the staff, some of whom had served for more than 30 years, could only choose to accept the voluntary separation scheme (VSS) offer or be transferred to another town.

“Our request to the bank’s human resources department to improve the exit package has been rejected and the bank’s chief executive officer has yet to respond to our letter,” he said in a statement.

Law said the union believed that the branch, which had been in operation for more than 60 years, was profitable.

“We do not see any economic reason for the branch to close. The bank had achieved a profit for the past three years and is forecast to be on track to achieve its targeted profit for this financial year,” he said.

FMT is trying to reach the bank for comment.