Bank to slash jobs after posting record profit

ANZ Bank, one of Australia’s biggest banks, plans to axe up to 1000 jobs over six months “to protect profit margins from rising costs” and the euro debt crisis, The Australian said on January 13.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the Finance Sector Union (FSU) expects up to 700 jobs to be cut in coming weeks. Following job losses in October last year, one ANZ executive told the SMH: “This will be bigger than the job cuts that followed the GFC.

“If you look at our operations site in Church Street [Richmond], there are now two empty floors. All those jobs have been outsourced to Manila. There have been no announcements, just creeping cuts across the staff numbers.”

ANZ closed last year with a record profit, up 19% to $5.36 billion, ABC's The World Today said in November. Its CEO, Michael Smith, took home about $5 million and had a further $5 million invested in stock.

FSU national secretary Leon Carter told the SMH that with record profitability, ANZ had “an obligation to keep everybody employed”.

But when “anything gets tough in finance the only trick in their locker is to put jobs on the line”.

Amid many companies cutting their workforces and thousands being put out of work, workplace relations minister Bill Shorten has cracked down on the unemployed.

He rejected a call from Australian Industry Group chief and new Reserve Bank of Australia board member Heather Ridout and the National Welfare Rights Network to raise the Newstart allowance from the current $243 a week. Shorten said it provided an “incentive for people to take up paid work”.

In Australia the estimated poverty line is an annual income of $32,000. A person on Newstart unemployment benefits receives $12,700.

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