ANZ Banking Group will lay off most technology staff at its support centre in Chengdu under a major restructure revealed last night.
First reported by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, the restructure will see 850 of the more than 1000 staff at the Chengdu centre lose their jobs over the next 18 months.
ANZ Chengdu is one of the bank’s offshore support hubs, home to a sizable data analytics capability and providing support for other digital initiatives at the bank.
It was set up back in 2011 and housed “experts who manage a range of complex functions including technologies used to support ANZ's business globally”, according to prior reporting by iTnews.
The operation was repurposed during Covid-19 to provide frontline IT support when staff at ANZ’s other offshore locations in India and Manila were caught up in lockdowns.
iTnews understands that between 10 and 15 percent of the 1000-plus staff at the Chengdu centre are in technology roles, equating to between 100 and 150 personnel.
The rest of the staff at Chengdu are classified as "operations" - essentially part of a follow-the-sun support model for administrative and other backend work.
These operations roles will be pared back to a core of about 100 operations staff that will remain in China to support ANZ's institutional banking presence.
It is believed that the bulk of technology roles previously in Chengdu will end up in India.
“In the next few months, we will start to gradually shift work currently provided by Chengdu teams to Bengaluru [India], Manila or Melbourne,” ANZ regional head Steve Harris said in the staff email, which was also sighted by iTnews.
“We want to be very clear that this decision is based on ANZ’s ongoing focus to simplify the bank and prepare for a changing external environment.”
Harris said that no changes would be made at Chengdu for at least four months, and that impacted staff would receive "three-to-six months" notice.
He added that consolidation of its offshore services centre made sense in the context of strategic changes within ANZ's broader business.
"The Chengdu service centre was established at a time when ANZ was rapidly expanding into new markets and it was important to have a service model that was set up to manage ANZ’s future growth," Harris wrote.
"A few years ago we shifted from expanding to simplifying ANZ’s business. This included exiting several non-core businesses to focus on fewer things that add the most value to our customers. Since then, we’ve needed to adjust our resources to suit a smaller and more focused bank - including how we manage our service centre support.
"Chengdu is our smallest service centre and given ANZ’s ongoing focus on simplifying our business, it makes sense to consolidate services in locations where we have a larger presence, but continue to maintain the services that support ANZ’s China business in the longer term."