(AGI) - Accra, july 25 - Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), the main state bank in the West African country, is undertaking a staff rationalisation exercise involving about 195 employees. The affected staff who will exit the bank by the end of July 2016 are to be paid off according to management of the financial institution. The exercise, forms part of the bank's Transformation Programme designed to re-position it as one of the top performing banks in Ghana. The bank, in a statement said the Transformation Programme, which commenced a few years ago, also involves product and service innovation, alternate channel expansion, corporate banking services enhancement, new branch design introduction, renovation of existing branches, ICT enhancements, and process improvement. It said the rationalisation exercise involves assessing the skill mix of staff required to meet the strategic focus of the bank. It has as well been designed to achieve an appropriate senior and junior grade mix. "The employees' representatives (Unicof and the 2 local Unions) have been fully engaged throughout the process and a competitive package has been agreed upon resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties (the management of the bank and the union) for the exercise to commence. "Nationwide durbars were organised by the management and union to inform staff of the exercise and address issues staff raised. "An Outplacement Workshop/Orientation Programme has further been lined-up for staff who have been impacted to mitigate any potential unpreparedness for life after exit. "We, therefore, assure our key stakeholders and the general public that the exercise is in the strategic interest and for the sustainability of the business/bank. The management of the bank will at all times act in the best interest of all stakeholders," the bank said. The transformation agenda of the state bank follows an emerging trend of competition from private banks. These banks both local and foreign are participating in the financial sector of the local economy with new branches being opened on daily basis. (AGI) .