Big bank slashes 500 jobs – FSU

Job losses have hit areas including mortgage, commercial banking and more

Big bank slashes 500 jobs – FSU

Westpac has axed more than 500 positions over the past two weeks. The job losses have impacted various areas within the bank, including mortgage operations, relationship banking, and commercial banking, according to union officials.

The decision to cut jobs is part of Westpac's cost-cutting program as the bank faces the challenge of managing expenses amidst rising inflation and increased investments in technology, according to a report by The Australian. Last week, the bank had already announced the elimination of 300 jobs, primarily affecting head office roles related to change management, project delivery, and program management.

However, on Friday, Westpac informed the union that an additional 116 roles would be cut, mainly impacting relationship managers working in "premier banking" as more customers shift towards online banking, The Australian reported.

Additionally, the bank is planning further reductions in its mortgage operations team and commercial relationship banking, which is estimated to affect approximately 40 positions, as reported by a source close to the bank, according to the Finance Sector Union.

“This ongoing reorganisation is part of our simplification and cost reset program,” a Westpac spokesman told The Australian. “We’ll be supporting our employees as we make these changes.”.

Despite reporting a 22% increase in profit to $4 billion in the six months to March, Westpac announced that rampant inflation had forced it to abandon its $8.6 billion cost target. However, the bank remains committed to its cost-cutting initiatives.

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The FSU slammed Westpac for its continued pursuit of cost reduction despite the bank's record profits from mortgage interest rate rises. FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano condemned the layoffs and warned that more Westpac employees could face job losses in the future.

“Unfortunately, this isn't the end of the carnage in lost jobs at Westpac,” Angrisano told The Australian. She estimated that over 500 jobs had been lost in the past fortnight alone.

“Westpac has spent the past two years savagely slicing into its national branch network and now senior executives are taking the butcher’s knife to carve through a range of back-office functions,” she said.

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