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ANZ job cuts ‘beyond belief’

The major bank’s decision to cut hundreds of jobs has been rebuked by the Financial Sector Union, which fears the financial welfare of outgoing employees amid growing economic uncertainty.

ANZ has confirmed plans to cut 230 jobs across its retail distribution and financial planning businesses as part of its “simplification” strategy.

“ANZ has made a number of changes in recent years to simplify our wealth business, including the sale of our insurance business, our aligned dealer groups, and our pensions and investments business,” a spokesperson said.

“We are now making some changes to simplify our retail distribution and financial planning capabilities so we can provide more focused and meaningful advice for our most financially complex customers.

“This means the advice team will be smaller, which will impact a number of our financial planners and support staff members.”

ANZ stated that it has “plans and resources in place to help impacted staff members”, which it said includes redeployment opportunities, outplacement, and funding through its New Career Training Fund and Past Employee Care Fund for additional training and for employees experiencing financial hardship.

However, the Financial Sector Union Australia (FSU) has strongly criticised the timing of ANZ’s decision amid growing global and domestic economic uncertainty.  

“As Australia deals with the serious negative economic impacts of coronavirus and unprecedented bushfires, it is beyond belief that ANZ thinks sacking hundreds of staff will help rebuild trust,” FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said.

“The risks to the Australian economy are real. That is why the Reserve Bank reduced interest rates to record lows earlier this week.

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ANZ is a tier one business, they should be leading the way in mapping out sensible reforms that demonstrate good corporate citizenry.

“Instead, large-scale job cuts to boost their own profit at the expense of the broader economy is self-serving and short sighted.”

The FSU national secretary added that ANZ’s job cuts would further erode community trust in Australia’s corporate sector.

“Australians backed the banks through the global financial crisis; as the coronavirus and bushfire headwinds threaten the Australian economy, ANZ need to be reminded it has a broader responsibility to the community,” she said.

“ANZ actions this week will simply confirm for ordinary Australians that too much of corporate Australia is driven solely by greed.

“Whoever in ANZ bank thinks cutting hundreds of jobs will rebuild trust ought to have their own new job – as an author of fiction.”

This follows the release of market research platform Glow’s inaugural Australian Banking Brand and Trust Index, which ranked the major banks fell towards the bottom of the list in terms of satisfaction, trust, and likelihood to recommend to others.

[Related: AMP, Westpac found wanting by customers]

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