National Australia unveils IT investment programme

National Australia unveils IT investment programme

National Australia Bank is to spend A$95 million on upgrading IT systems for customer-facing staff in Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks. The investment is part of a new global business strategy which will result in 3400 job losses worldwide and an expected A$370 million in savings over the next two years.

The Yorkshire and Clydesdale IT investments will coincide with an additional A$90 million funding for the development of wealth management operations in the UK and a A$200 million spend on wealth management advisory services in Australia.

In a statement, the bank says process re-engineering and streamlining throughout the group as a result of investment in new technology will reduce employment, particularly in administration and back office areas.

In Australia, during the next 18 months there is expected to be 1500 redundancies. On a group basis, including the Australian redundancies, the redundancy figure is expected to be 2050.

Overall there will a reduction of 3400 positions but this will be offset by the creation of 1400 new positions and natural attrition and redeployment, says the bank.

A provision of between $175 million and $225 million to cover redundancies will be made in the full year accounts.

The 'Positioning for Growth' programme was unveiled by National Australia Bank managing director and chief executive officer, Frank Cicutto. He says the measures will underpin the National's growth forecast of better than 12 per cent cash earnings per share growth in 2003 and 2004.

"Targets have been set for each of our businesses," he says. "For example, the cost to income ratio of the Australian retail banking operations is planned to be mid 40 per cent by September 2004."

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