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ANZ workers await details of job cuts

Friday 14th November 2008

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Workers at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group are awaiting details of job cuts brewing at the lender, which has downplayed the potential scope of the reductions.

The bank must "come clean" about its plans to downsize, according to Leon Carter, national secretary for Australia's Finance Sector Union. ANZ said it is considering eliminating in excess of 500 jobs though the assessment process isn't complete.

Banks globally have trimmed their workforce to cut costs in the wake of the credit freeze and CDO meltdown. ANZ Bank joins National Australia Bank, which will cut 179 technology workers, while the potential merger of Westpac and St George Bank may yield the biggest job cuts in the sector.

"It's inevitable there will be some jobs will be lost," a spokeswoman for the bank said via email. "This is happening across the sector and is in part a response to the softening economic environment."

"The focus is on middle management roles - but at this stage its not possible to be more definitive on numbers," the spokeswoman said.

The Finance Sector Union said restructuring could lead to an acceleration of jobs being sent to lower-cost centres offshore.

The job cuts won't add to those already announced by ANZ Bank for New Zealand, according to Finsec.

By Jonathan Underhill

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