Thursday, 02 November 2017 21:03

Profits at $5.3b, jobs to be slashed, new tech roles to be created: NAB Featured

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The National Australia Bank is shedding 6000 jobs over the next three years despite reporting a massive full year net profit of $5.3 billion for 2017, and putting the decision to slash staff down to the impact of new technology and digital transactions on traditional roles.

Ironically, despite the impact of technology and the decline in traditional roles, the NAB has tried to sweeten the news with its announcement that 2000 new digital “high tech” positions will be created in the bank.

According to chief executive Andrew Thorburn, who announced the job cuts on Thursday, the banking industry is under pressure to reshape its workforce and "as transactions move to digital channels, and this is driven by our customers, we will need fewer people".

Thorburn says the creation of new digitally-focused jobs means the actual net loss of jobs across the NAB will be around 4000, and as 60% of its business moves online over three years.

The $5.3 billion net profit announced by the NAB increased by more than 1400% on 2016, while redundancies are expected to cost the bank up to $800 million.

The 2016 profit of $352 million profit was primarily the result of the NAB’s sales, at a loss, of its UK and life insurance businesses.

The NAB chief says the job cuts are part of the bank’s plan to achieve $1 billion in annual savings through automation of processes previously performed manually.

And the cost cutting also includes a reduction in the number of products offered by the bank, and changes to its branch network.

Thorburn flagged the closure of some bank branches, but the opening of  new branches in the growth corridors in western Sydney and Melbourne.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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