Abbey IT director made redundant as Santander begins shake-up

Abbey IT director made redundant as Santander begins shake-up

Abbey National has merged its IT and customer operations division, and removed IT director Yasmin Jetha under an initial restructuring initiated by new Spanish owner Banco Santander Central Hispano.

The Spanish bank says the organisational changes are designed to reap cost savings while keeping business disruption to a minimum.

The merger of the IT and customer operations division reflects Banco Santander's own structure. The new division will be called 'manufacturing', and will be responsible for cost control across the business as well as operational efficiency. It will be run by Tony Wyatt, the current customer operations director.

Mark Pain, customer sales director has quit his post "because after 16 years with the company, he wants to move on to something new", while IT director Jetha has been made redundant. She departs with a £400,000 pay-off from the company.

The bank has also created another new division, combining insurance and asset management, and promoted the finance and market director and chief risk officer to the board.

Announcing the changes, Francisco Gomez-Roldan, chief executive, Abbey, says: "My goal is to accelerate Abbey's turnaround plan, and start achieving the revenue benefits and cost savings identified by Santander when it made its offer to acquire Abbey."

The importance attached to IT in the merger is evidenced by the appointment of Santander chief information officer Jose Maria Fuster as an Abbey non-executive director.

In July, Santander disclosed details of a three year, £300 million cost cutting plan at the UK bank which included a reduction in middle and back-office processing.

The Spanish bank has yet to detail the number of jobs that will be lost under the restructuring.

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