ANZ has refuted reports that it is to axe 500 Australian back office and technology jobs and shift the workload to its offshore centre in Bangalore.
The bank ran into a political storm over the weekend after it appeared to confirm speculation that it was to shift 500 jobs from its Melbourne back office and technology hub to its offshore development centre in Bangalore, which currently employs 3000 staff.
In a carefully-worded statement, the bank says that its business in Australia continues to grow and that it does not expect " material reductions" in employment in 2009.
The statement continues: "ANZ is committed to managing growth in Bangalore responsibly. This includes creating new jobs through business growth and emphasising redeployment and retraining to assist any staff impacted to obtain other roles in the bank."
Responding to an outburst of local fury at the earlier reports, ANZ chief executive officer Australia, Brian Hartzer says: "We understand the concern about the effect of the economic slowdown on jobs and the community expectation that banks will play their role in maintaining lending and supporting those facing hardship.
"While in these times, the difficult reality for all businesses is that there will be change to adapt to the current economic climate. ANZ is committed to being transparent about change programs and to making any changes responsibly and with care to ensure the impact on staff is minimised."