NAB axes 1700 jobs at UK banking operations

NAB axes 1700 jobs at UK banking operations

National Australia Bank (NAB) is axing 1700 jobs in Britain as part of a widescale restructuring of its Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank operations in the UK.

In a statement the bank says the majority of 1700 positions affected are non-customer facing roles. The redundancies will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.

NAB's UK chief executive Lynne Peacock, says the cuts are necessary to make the UK businesses "more nimble and customer focussed".

Peacock says some of the job losses will be met through staff turnover and redeployment, although 400 posts have already been identified.

Annual savings from the restructuring initiatives are expected to be approximately £117 million. NAB will take a charge of £109m in its first-half results to cover the costs of the restructuring.

According to press reports, 950 jobs are expected to go at NAB's Yorkshire Bank subsidiary, while around 750 roles will be cut at the Clydesdale Bank operations.

NAB initially said in February that it planned to cut costs and streamlining back office processes at its British banking franchises.

In today's statement, NAB says it will implement a broad cost reduction programme involving process simplification, rationalisation of management structures and consolidation of technology platforms. NAB says it is also planning to invest in the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands and in electronic and direct channels such as telephone and Internet banking.

The bank is looking to expand its British operations into the south of England and has already opened 15 new Clydesdale-branded "financial solutions centres" offering integrated business, private banking and wealth management services to small to medium sized businesses. NAB plans to open 15 more Clydesdale-branded centres by the end of the year.

NAB is also working to 're-align' the High Street branch presence of both franchises, which includes the establishment of 50 flagship branches in key centres.

Says Peacock: "All areas of our existing operations have been under review and we are moving quickly to implement the changes necessary to create an efficient, competitive business."

The Australian bank sold it Irish operations, Northern Bank and National Irish Bank, last year.

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