ANZ to slash 1,000 jobs

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ Bank) says it will cut around 1,000 permanent jobs in the next four months as its profits are squeezed by higher costs, tighter regulation and a drop in lending.

The positions affected would be in middle management as well as back-office and support roles, the bank said, with customer-service staff mostly unaffected.

The bank today told workers of 492 confirmed job losses.

ANZ chief executive Australia Philip Chronican said the bank had to adapt to a difficult environment and become more lean, more agile and more customer-focused.

“In this environment, the right thing to do is to be upfront with our staff and with the community about the changes needed in banking and their implications,” Mr Chronican said.

“Although we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to adapt to the new global environment for banks, the economic outlook for Australia remains positive and this helps underpin our continued investment in customer service and in emerging areas of opportunity.”

ANZ said affected staff would receive assistance to find jobs elsewhere in the organization and would have access to training and financial support.

As part of the cost-cutting measures, the bank also said most senior executives’ salaries would remain fixed for the rest of the 2012 financial year.

Federal Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten says the banks are misguided if they think cutting jobs or sending them offshore is a remedy for their problems.

But he told Sky News he welcomed the efforts ANZ had made to protect those who will lose their jobs.

“ANZ perhaps has set a new standard for redundancies, which I think has been overlooked in the discussion,” Mr Shorten said.

“They’re now providing individual training accounts of up to $10,000.”