560 jobs to go at Westpac


The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has confirmed that 560 jobs are set to go at Westpac Bank – 150 of those roles are going offshore.

The departments affected by the job cuts are technical services, administration, legal, retail and business banking and administration.

FSU national secretary Leon Carter says it is a disgrace.

“So these are the hardworking bank workers who are behind the scenes making sure that settlements occur and that people can buy and rent houses, and this is an organisation that continues to make a multi-billion-dollar annual profit,” he said.

Mr Carter says the bank has an obligation and capacity to retain all the jobs and keep them in Australia.

Westpac has still not confirmed the job losses, but last year it told investors that it would probably end this financial year with less staff than it began the year.

Financial institutions are cutting jobs in Australia and overseas and analysts at UBS expect some 7,000 jobs to go in Australia alone in the next two years.

Banks are seeking to rein in their costs as growth in their lending businesses slows and funding costs rise amid the sovereign debt problems in the eurozone.

Earlier this month, ANZ announced that about 130 positions would be made redundant in the bank’s commercial and retail businesses.

And some 170 jobs at the Australian arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland are expected to disappear after the British bank announced 3,500 jobs would go at its operations worldwide.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard would not comment directly about the Westpac announcement but says there is a bright future for financial services in Australia

“We live in a region where the middle class is in China, the middle class in India, the middle class in our region and that burgeoning new middle class will want sophisticated financial services that can be provided by us right here in Australia,” she said.

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