FirstRand in talks to cut 600 jobs in retail banking

FirstRand, which employs nearly 40,000 people, reported a flat half-year profit last week.

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's FirstRand is in talks with a trade union about cutting 600 jobs at its retail banking unit, a union official said on Monday.

Sasbo, the union that represents workers in the banking industry, was continuing talks with First National Bank in an attempt to avoid job losses, said spokeswoman Vanessa Hattingh.

"Sasbo has managed to reduce the affected numbers to some 600. The consultation process continues in an attempt to further reduce the number of forced retrenchments," said Hattingh.

FirstRand's spokeswoman Sam Moss did not immediately respond to calls for a comment.

FirstRand, which employs more nearly 40,000 people, reported a flat half-year profit last week as the effects of weak consumption and investment spending at home and the rest of Africa weighed.