AT THE CENTRE OF STANDOFF: Former Crane Bank

Over 400 former employees of Crane Bank whose services were terminated by DFCU Bank prematurely are sure High Court will hear their case, having been given permission yesterday to sue the bank.

The Deputy Registrar in- charge of civil matters Sarah Langa yesterday gave  the authority to the ten former employees to file a representative suit on behalf of the rest of the terminated employees with a similar interest. One of the affected employees said their lawyer Isaac Semakadde Kimeze of the Centre for Legal Aid, was finalising the file.

Counsel Semakadde Kimaze, who represented the plaintiffs yesterday, said he was ready to file the case in court against DFCU Bank. The former ex-Crane Bank employees want DFCU Bank to pay them over Shs6 billion as compensation.

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They say the wrongful dismissal has caused them mental anguish as well as damage to their reputation and finances.

The group that consists of Managers, tellers and cleaners claim, they were discriminatively laid -off within one month after DFCU took over Crane Bank in January this year.

In August this year, DFCU Bank announced it had posted Shs 114 billion for the first half of this 2017 up from Shs23 billion in the same period last year. Management at the time attributed the profit to changes in equity holders of the company.

The company’s balance sheet jumped from Shs1.8 trillion in December 2016 to Shs3.05 trillion as at June 30, 2017. Its customer numbers grew by 50 per cent in the period under review and its branch network grew from 43 to 67 with 100 ATMs as a result of acquiring Crane Bank.

The former employees criticize DFCU for failure to respect their pledge when soon after taking over Crane Bank; they promised workers that they weren’t going to be terminated. Officials from Bank of Uganda and DFCU assured workers at a press conference of job security but hardly two months after their takeover had they sacked them. DFCU is majorly owned by foreign investors with very small local interests.