Commonwealth bank of Australia is to halt its branch closure programme and spend A$120 million in improving front line customer service under a sweeping programme that will yield a total of 1000 job cuts.
The Australian bank foreshadowed the changes as it announced a net profit after income tax of A$2655 million for the year ended 30 June 2002, up 11% on the prior year.
The bank says it has completed a detailed review of service levels and is to spend A$120 million after tax over the coming year, with the aim of streamlining processes and improving responsiveness to customer needs. The one-time expenditure will cover systems changes, re-engineering of overall processes and staff redundancies.
The bank say that total staff numbers will be further reduced by 1000 by the end of this year as a result of eliminating duplication, inefficiencies and some back office processing. At the same time, there is expected to be an increase of some 550 positions, principally providing customer service.
As part of the commitment to improved service levels, the bank is to curtail its current branch closure programme, keeping high street outlets at their current level.
With over 1000 branches, the Commonwealth Bank’s branch network remains Australia’s largest, exceeding its nearest competitor by around 200.