nazir-razakCIMB Group is offering its 36,000 staff extended unpaid leave under the “Staff Rejuvenation Programme” from next month.

Group chief executive, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, emphasised that the programme was not to lay off workers but to give them an option to take extended unpaid leave of between one and six months.

On whether the programme would reduce costs, he said: “We don’t have a target but there will be cost savings. It’s a positive move and a win-win situation.”

Nazir said under the current economic situation, “it is fully understood that there is spare capacity.”

It is understood that the workers who take up the group’s offer will start their leave from 1 April, but this will not affect the bank’s operations.

“It’s a positive move and a win-win situation. The programme will also involve branches in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore,” he told reporters at a signing ceremony for the formalisation of a 10-year strategic alliance between CIMB Wealth Advisors Bhd and AIA Bhd here today.

The alliance will offer a wide range of insurance protection solutions to customers.

Earlier, CIMB Wealth chief executive officer, Tan Beng Wah, said the alliance would enable its over 5,500 agents and financial planners to market a wide range of insurance products underwritten by AIA and its subsidiary, AIA Takaful International Bhd (ATIB) to their steadily growing clientele.

“The alliance will also open the door for CIMB Wealth to cross-sell products of ATIB, Malaysia’s first international takaful operator licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia,” he said.

Tan said the alliance would also enable both parties to leverage on their proven strengths and expertise in the areas of wealth planning and insurance protection solutions respectively to offer Malaysians a holistic approach to financial planning.

CIMB Wealth is a subsidiary of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd and is jointly owned by CIMB Group and Principal Financial Group of US.