Standard Bank is set to close 104 of its branches. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Pretoria - People reacted with shock, sympathy and criticism to Standard Bank’s decision to close more than 100 of its branches across the country. 

The bank is expected to close 104 branches as early as this month after initially announcing that it would close 91 branches. 

However, to some social media users this news had not been welcomed as they feared that people could lose jobs. 

Gauteng is the province that will be hardest hit as the lists of branches due to be axed included nearly 50% of the branches in the province.

Tshwane branches included on the list included Arcadia, Hillcrest Boulevard, Irene Mall, Lyttelton, Menlyn, Menlyn Maine, Rosslyn, Unisa, Soshanguve Crossing and Wonderboom Junction. 

Standard had expected about 1 200 of its staff to be affected by the change but the number could increase as the prediction was made when only 91 branches were expected to be closed.

Reuben Micketts said: “But they have no problem splashing millions on that useless Protea squad who earn thousands upon thousands of rands, not regarding their own employees' bread being taken off the table.”

According to Odge Walter, every time one uses the phone app, one helps close a branch. “The fourth industrial revolution is in your fingertips.”

However, Clinton who supports the moved tweeted: “Every time one goes into a branch they risk being robbed or killed! The risk is not worth it.”

Kaylen wrote: “Thank you standard bank.  hope Capitec Bank will exploit this opportunity and build more banks with more ATMs because we Capitec ATM users are suffering month end.”

Many users said this move was sad and it would affect predominantly the majority who continue struggling to escape poverty.

Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom explained that the shift was due to customer behaviour showing that their clients were using branches less than they did in the past. 

He explained that although 1 200 employees could be affected by the change, the number of those who could find themselves leaving the employ of Standard Bank could be less. 

Pretoria News