Stanbic axes cute manager, Juuko as she packs her bags for Nairobi

Kampala, Uganda I HABARI DAILY I The cute, soft spoken Ann Juuko, who has steered Stanbic Bank Uganda for the last four years is no more.  According to reliable sources, she has been removed from her position for redeployment. 

Habari Daily has learned that she is likely to take on a new regional role at Standard Bank’s East African regional office in Nairobi, overseeing Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

The business community is abuzz with speculation about whether Juuko has accepted this new role or might take a break to focus on family matters with her husband, lawyer Apollo Makubuya.

While some view this move as a promotion, questions linger about why such a reputed performer would be replaced by bank executives, whose primary interest is maximizing profits.

Sources within the bank revealed that Juuko was originally slated for removal in May of the previous year but convinced her superiors to extend her tenure until March 2024. The decision to replace her appears to stem from concerns about the bank’s financial performance during her leadership.

Critics argue that under Juuko’s tenure, the bank’s net profit margin has not seen significant growth. Operating income, net trading income, and net fees and commissions income have reportedly not shown improvement. Nonperforming loans are said to have increased, leading to several bad debts being written off.

Insiders suggest that the Board of Directors became convinced that a change in leadership was necessary to introduce fresh ideas aimed at maximizing profits. A whistleblower reportedly alerted top bosses to questionable practices among some of the bank’s lawyers, involving the undervaluation of distressed client properties during forced sales.

Various fraud incidents have also cast doubt on Juuko’s leadership, with the bank facing challenges in addressing sophisticated scams, some involving insiders. Last year’s heist, where a customer allegedly lost $1.8 million due to a compromised system, reportedly damaged the bank’s reputation.

Juuko’s proximity to the corridors of power may have accelerated her removal, with some bank executives concerned about her alleged mixing of bank business with local politics.

Staff morale is reported to be at its lowest during Juuko’s time, with accusations of staff terminations and cost-cutting measures impacting the work environment. Some current and former staff have complained of not receiving provident funds, while the absence of end-of-year parties and recognition vouchers has contributed to the decline in morale.

Juuko’s removal may also be influenced by various stakeholders who may have been affected by her management decisions. Additionally, media reports about her private life have reportedly worried bank executives, potentially impacting the bank’s image.

Juuko’s term was set to end in March 2024, and her move to Nairobi is seen as a routine transition. In December 2023, Standard Bank Group’s Regional Chief Executive for East Africa, Patrick Mweheire, praised Juuko’s performance, indicating that the bank was considering her for a regional role.

As the details surrounding Juuko’s departure continue to unfold, the banking community awaits official confirmation and further clarification on the reasons behind this unexpected change in leadership.

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