Commonwealth Bank of Australia is working on a secret plan to cut as many as 12,000 jobs - a quarter of its workforce - in an effort to slash A$2 billion in costs, according to local broadsheet The Australian.
The plans - which are being put on hold until after the 18 May Federal elections - include the closure of 300 of the bank's 1000 branch network.
The Australian says chief executive Matt Comyn wants to keep the cuts under wraps because of their political sensitivity.
The strategy would be a major volte face for Comyn, who in August last year re-affirmed CBA's commitment to its 1000-strong branch network and call centre operations, despite figures showing almost 60% of all transactions at the bank are now conducted digitally,
While the bank has declined to comment publicly on the revelation, it has reportedly told the Finance Sector Union that reports of mass redundancies and branch axeings are "misleading and unnecessarily alarming".