Butterfield Bank (Cayman) has confirmed six of its employees have been made redundant as part of the Bermuda-based bank’s restructuring exercise this month.

Rory Mann, the bank’s Cayman marketing and communications manager, said 51 employees across the Butterfield Group internationally were told on Monday, 12 Oct., that their positions had been made redundant due to internal reorganisation.

He confirmed that six were Caymanian staff based locally.

Mann said roles in several departments were affected by the redundancies across the group.

“We have been very careful to adjust roles and responsibilities to ensure that our technology, product offerings, and client service will not be negatively impacted by these changes,” he told the Cayman Compass in an emailed response to queries about the staff changes.

Last week in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Alden McLaughlin touched on the dismissals as he responded to an Opposition motion brought by Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders on increasing the local minimum vacation leave by five days to bring it in line with international standards.

In his contribution on why he could not support that motion, McLaughlin said it was not in the best interests of anyone at this stage that additional financial burdens are placed on businesses “because it’s going to discourage them from hiring more people and it may actually cause them, as Butterfield Bank is now doing, to lay off significant numbers of people”.

Saunders countered by saying the layoffs were not dismissals, that the posts vacated in Cayman had been moved to another jurisdiction.

However, Mann, in his comments to the Compass, explained that the decision to cut the 51 jobs was an economic one.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has created a challenging operating environment for Butterfield and all banks. We have made structural changes to partially mitigate a decline in the Bank’s revenue caused by the economic fallout of the pandemic,” he said.

Mann said the group was treating impacted employees fairly and with respect, “providing outplacement support and severance packages that exceed statutory requirements”.

“The actions taken by Butterfield are the result of thorough review and planning. It is never easy, and there is never a good time to make positions redundant, but we must do what is in the best interests of the Bank, its shareholders and remaining employees,” he added.

Last September, the bank moved 22 jobs from Bermuda and Cayman to its support centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of its restructuring exercise to cut costs.

The move affected 10 positions in Cayman and 12 jobs in Bermuda in various departments.

Earlier this year, the group also offered voluntary early retirement to employees.

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