DUBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) could axe more than half the workforce with a planned 500-plus job cuts at newly acquired Noor Bank as part of cost cuts across both lenders, said three sources close to the matter .
Final numbers on the job losses will emerge after completion of interviews between DIB managers and Noor Bank staff, two of the sources said.
DIB has more than 9,000 employees, the bank says, while sources said that Noor Bank has between 1,200 and 1,400 full-time staff.
DIB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The looming cuts add to the weak environment for white-collar jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where economic growth has been sluggish, especially in Dubai, which is also suffering from a property downturn.
A wave of mergers in UAE banking on the back of tougher competition and regulation has also put pressure on financial sector jobs in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy. DIB completed its acquisition of sharia-compliant Noor Bank last month in a deal that will make DIB one of the world’s largest Islamic banks, with total assets worth 275 billion dirhams ($75 billion).
An integration process has been under way in recent weeks, in which team bosses have sat down with their counterparts to discuss who to keep, one of the sources said.
“Cuts will be on both sides, but DIB is the buying side so it is likely cuts will be more on Noor,” the source added.
Noor Bank CEO John Iossifidis has already announced his resignation, sources told Reuters last month, citing an internal memo. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar Additional reporting by Davide Barbucsia and Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by David Goodman)