Thirteen staff were made redundant at Capital G on Thursday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Thirteen staff were made redundant at Capital G on Thursday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, OCT. 12: Tears were shed at Capital G Bank yesterday as 13 staff were made redundant.

It was a shock for the staff, and one employee told us it was “a real kick in the teeth” because the company had announced earlier this year there would be no redundancies.

The employee said the bank has quietly been letting people go since July after a new core banking system was installed; it was apparently “over-budget” and had forced Cap G to start shedding positions. The staffer told us the total number of job cuts since July was closer to 25 — but we were unable to corroborate this claim.

The bank declined to comment on the total number of job losses since July, or on whether or not the new core banking system was to blame.

Capital G gathered its staff together for an early morning meeting to make the announcement that 12 Bermudians and one guest worker would be made redundant.

Tears flowed and some people quietly sobbed.

One staffer told us: “Everyone was in tears because nobody knew this was going to happen, even those in management. I broke down in tears. It was definitely a shock. The mood right now is sombre because everyone is quietly wondering if they’re next.

“This came out of the blue — nobody was prepared for this, and especially since they announced earlier this year they wouldn’t be any redundancies. We heard the announcement today and I thought we were told we didn’t have to worry about that.”

One employee told us: “I started sobbing. I didn’t think this could happen to us.”

Another said: “Over the last four months they have been ending people’s contracts or making people redundant or preparing to make people redundant. The number they’re reporting is 13 but the actual number is probably close to 25 the number of jobs lost since our conversion in July.”

The staffer claimed Capital G was “so far over budget and so far in the hole on this project they had to shed salary to recoup some of the losses.”

Contrary to the other employees the Bermuda Sun spoke to, he said anyone who was paying attention could see this was coming down the pipeline.

“The unfortunate part of today’s losses is they are Bermudians, except one. Most of those people they let go had mortgages with the bank and were getting all these benefits. They could lose their houses.

“It’s really a kick in the teeth because in April this year, we had this big town hall meeting where they told everybody they weren’t going to make anybody redundant.”

The bank said in order to operate more efficiently it had to let the 13 workers go “to better achieve success in the future.”

The employees had a variety of functions within the bank, including credit operations, marketing, information technology, product management, human resources and finance.

Prior to the job cuts, Capital G employed 215 employees, of which more than 80 per cent are Bermudian.

Earlier this year, Cap G opened a second branch at the corner of Church and Par-la-Ville and a bank spokesperson said plans to open a third branch “remain as planned”.

The spokesperson added: “While the bank continues to perform well during a difficult economy, there is no doubt that the greatest impact has been on some clients’ ability to meet their credit commitments. We continue to work with those persons to ensure they remain in a positive position with the bank. Capital G continues to diversify its business by further evolving into asset management, institutional and integrated wealth management.”

The spokesperson added: “Capital G remains in a strong position to grow in Bermuda and other jurisdictions with a highly qualified, experienced and committed workforce, approximately $1.2 billion in deposits, more than $1 billion in assets under management and a new robust core banking system.”

Ian Truran, president and CEO of Capital G Bank Limited & Capital G Trust Limited, said in a press release: “There is no doubt that today’s announcement is difficult for us as a bank which prides itself on strong family values. We are not unlike other banks around the world which have re-aligned their resources to respond to the ever-changing global economic environment.

“We have made every effort over the last several years to recruit, retain and develop Bermudian talent. Today’s redundancies were unfortunately a necessary step in Capital G’s continued growth as a financial institution,” continued Mr. Truran.

“Capital G has extended certain benefits beyond statutory minimums and made every effort to offer employees information and advice which may assist in securing future employment. ”

A bank spokesperson added: “We wanted to provide our employees with all the resources and advice necessary that could assist them in seeking alternative employment as quickly as possible. Members of the Department of Labour and Training were on-site today to assist in that regard.”

Patrice Minors, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry said: “I am disappointed to learn of the job loss, but I am confident in the Department’s ability to assist those affected. It is imperative that all unemployed persons are registered with the Department.”