CIMB S'pore lays off 3 banking unit heads amid Covid-19 pandemic

CIMB Singapore has laid off three of its banking unit heads as the lender restructures its business in an effort to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The local unit of the Malaysian bank has cut its consumer banking head Josandi Thor, commercial banking head Yong Jiunn Run and corporate banking head Lai Ven-Li. They will leave on Nov 30, according to financial services career website eFinancialCareers.

CIMB Singapore chief executive Victor Lee sent an internal memo to staff on Tuesday informing them of the layoffs, reported eFinancialCareers. "This unprecedented pandemic has severely affected the economy and our business, forcing us to take a hard look at our business model and direction," he wrote in the memo.

CIMB Singapore posted losses of RM939 million (S$308.2 million) in the first half of this year due to impairments, weighing on the group's performance.

Referring to CIMB's growth plan, Mr Lee said the bank has conducted a detailed analysis of its Singapore business and recalibrated its Forward23+ strategy to have greater emphasis on sustainable growth.

As a result, it will reshape business portfolios, drive cost efficiency, streamline its leadership structure and allow its chief executive to focus on key areas impacting the business.

Mr Lee said that letting go of Ms Thor, Mr Yong and Ms Lai was a "hard decision that group management had to make after looking into various options".

Ms Thor joined CIMB Singapore in 2010, and previously headed marketing for the bank here and in Malaysia, while Mr Yong has been with the bank since 2011.

It is not known how long Ms Lai has been with CIMB.

Mr Lee said the bank will announce its new Singapore leadership team soon. A CIMB Singapore spokesman, when contacted, said: "We do not comment on any of the bank's internal memos for confidentiality reasons."

Prisca Ang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2020, with the headline 'CIMB S'pore lays off 3 banking unit heads amid Covid-19 pandemic'. Subscribe