ISLAMABAD - A well-known British bank has drastically reduced its operations in Pakistan apparently indicating eventual pack-up as evident from massive sacking of the staff hired through an agent. According to sources, the banks steps have left as many as 300 bankers and other banking sector professionals as jobless. Out of the 300 dismissed workers 50 were working with the bank on the payroll of Credit & Commerce Consultants Private Limited on regular basis, the sources added. The sources believed that it was a shocking trend on part of the foreign banks that they hired through recruiting agents primarily to sacking of the employees, when required, easier on the strong legal footings. They were even given one-month salary in lieu of notice plus three-month salary as ex-gratia payment. The sacked employees have, thus, refused to receive their termination letters and they are planning to hold protests against what they termed as ruthless attitude of the agent on behalf of the bank. Later, the management despatched these letters to their home addresses. They are also planning to approach the court of law in this regard. It will be relevant to mention here that UK based bank started its operations in Pakistan one and half years ago. Several professionals joined this bank quitting multinational companies with the hope of a bright career. The sacked employees also alleged that they did not get salaries for the month of Feb 2010 so far. They also alleged that bank had been harassing them for urgent recovery of the loan, which they had obtained. Aggrieved group of the employees informed, One-month salary in lieu of notice plus three month ex-gratia payment would be adjusted against the loans as pre planned tactics. When contacted, Umaima Shoaib, head of corporate affairs of the bank, said, We have terminated 120 employees of the retail loan department. It is normal practice to fire the employees in the banking industry. In the past many multinational banks adopted the same practice. To a question, she said, The bank has terminated 120 employees and out of these 80 were permanent and 40 were contract employees To another question whether the bank has served one month notice to the employees prior to their termination she said, I am not aware that whether bank has served one-month notice or not. We have given package to these employees.