FIs lose 385 staff from 2022 till date

Majority went to Australia

The Australia rush has also struck the Financial Institutions (FI) as Bank of Bhutan (BoB), Bhutan National Bank (BNB), Druk PNB, T-Bank, Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL), National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF), Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL), and Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL) have all lost a significant number of staff to Australia or other countries from 2022 till date.

With the common reason of finding better economic opportunities, people are continuing to leave the country. Employed staff, especially those with experience, leaving has a huge impact on the human resource capacity. This trend has caused a great concern, with officials from the FIs stating that many other staff also might leave.

With a total number 385 people leaving from eight FIs, the highest attrition was from RICBL and BDBL followed by BoB.

BoB had 49 employees leaving for Australia in 2022 and with around 2 months in for the year 2023, 21 staff have left for Australia. In total, BoB has lost 70 staff to Australia.

BNB from 2022 till date had 40 people leaving, of which 23 left for Australia.

Druk PNB also lost a total of 15 employees to Australia from 2022 till date.

T-Bank lost a total of 27 employees from 2022 till date.

RICBL lost 53 employees to Australia or other countries in 2022, followed by 19 in 2023. 13 employees have currently put in their resignation which brings in a total of 85 employees lost.

NPPF has so far lost 32 employees from 2022 till date.

BIL has lost 21 employees from 2022 till date, and since its inception has lost 34 employees to Australia.

In the year 2022, 73 employees left BDBL, which left the attrition rate at 11.96 percent, and in the year 2023, 22 employees have left, which brings the attrition rate to 3.76 percent. It is learned that the majority of the staff left for Australia or other opportunities abroad.

The attrition in the 8 FIs has impacted the institutions. Sonam Tobgay, the Director of Operations and IT from BIL, said that the trend has impacted the company. “There isn’t much of an impact on service delivery because technology played a big part in keeping the delivery on schedule. However, the impact is felt in terms of working ability as experienced people are leaving.”

According to A. B Rai, the Deputy CEO of Druk PNB, the trend has impacted employment in terms of replacement. “The main problem with the trend is that immediate replacement is not possible. We have no idea when the staff might leave, and with people from senior positions leaving, it is not possible to replace the position.”

He also added that retaining the employees or stopping them is not possible.

Sonam Tobgay said, “As the entire nation is in a turmoil at the current juncture, one of the key ways to revive from the current situation is to invest in people (Human Resource) and put people first. Due to lack of expertise in the domestic market, people need to be trained and specialized in specific fields. For that to happen, companies need to invest in their employees to serve the company for a specific period upon completion of their course or training.”

However, he said that in the absence of regulations in the country, it is difficult for any company to introduce commitment bonds as the current labour regulation doesn’t permit companies from introducing such commitment policies. He said the Labour Act should be amended at the earliest in order to retain human resource within the country.

 People leaving from FIs is a matter of concern as these are usually among the best paid people in Bhutan with bonuses if they do well and easier access to loans.

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