NAB to establish redundancy program for thousands of workers leaving the bank

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A National Australia Bank (NAB) logo is pictured on an automated teller machine (ATM) in central Sydney September 12, 2014.
A National Australia Bank (NAB) logo is pictured on an automated teller machine (ATM) in central Sydney September 12, 2014. Reuters/David Gray/File Photo

National Australia Bank has announced up to 6,000 jobs losses by 2020 as part of a strategy overhaul. The decision was said to be part of a $1.5 billion restructure as expenses jumped by 2.6 percent.

The overhaul will also see the bank hire about 2,000 new employees as part of the technology transformation. The news comes as the banking sector face a makeover with lenders stripping themselves of wealth management arms.

NAB’s redundancy program

Workers who will leave NAB can access support and resources for a period of up to six months under the bank’s redundancy program. The 6,000 employees are 18 percent of the bank’s 33,400 workforce.

The approaching changes mean an overall net reduction of about 4,000 workers. The business is looking to slash $1 billion in costs by 2020.

In a statement, NAB assured it will treat its people with respect and care throughout the process.  “We are reshaping our workforce to enable us to deliver for our customers and by FY20 expect to create up to 2000 new jobs while about 6000 roles will be impacted as we further automate and simplify our business,” the company’s statement reads.

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn has commented on the announcement, saying the bank cares about its people. “The world is changing fast and we must change and adapt too, to deliver for customers and become Australia and New Zealand’s most respected bank,” he said, according to The Australian.

Thorburn has confirmed that some roles will go, while new opportunities open up. He added the 6,000 jobs come over three years as the bank invests sums of money to simplify the business.

Anthony Healy, current chief of the bank’s New Zealand division, will be appointed head of the business and private banking arm as part of the changes. Healy takes over from Angela Mentis, who will take over the New Zealand arm.

The announcement comes as NAB unveiled an increase in annual cash earnings to $6.64 billion. This was aided by an improved result in its markets and treasury arm.

Earnings in the consumer banking and wealth arm jumped 4.3 percent to $1.6 billion. Meanwhile, business bank earnings rose 6.3 percent to $2.8 billion.

ANZ Banking Group revealed that its employee numbers had dropped 12 percent from the peak a few years ago. It reportedly saw a 4 percent reduction in staff numbers over the year.