NAB lets IT workers go in effort to drive down costs

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NAB lets IT workers go in effort to drive down costs

Pours more money into IT overhaul.

The National Australia Bank cut almost 580 IT and support roles over the past year and shifted hundreds more internally under an organisational restructuring program.

The bank, which is four-and-a-half years into a long-running multi-million dollar technology refresh, said in March it would restructure to streamline operations and reap savings of $800 million.

Although the restructure impacted all business divisions, it is understood to have mainly affected NAB's IT, administrative support and wealth management teams.

The bank’s annual report, released today, reveals a total of 1339 workers were either let go or transferred between divisions.

Attributed to 'savings and strategic initiatives' and 'convergence', 532 workers left the Business Banking division, 320 from Personal Banking, 410 from Wholesale Banking, and 77 from NAB Wealth.

NAB said 760 workers had been moved into the Corporate Functions unit after the bank merged four operations support and technology teams under a centralisation push.

The net effect is that 579 positions were not replaced in the full year commencing September 2012.

NAB declined to comment. The figure matches claims by the Finance Sector Union in August that 571 IT workers had been let go, with some of the work reportedly now handled by Indian outsourcer Infosys.

The restructure is part of a global reorganisation which has delivered annual savings of $130 million, the bank said in its report. The Australian restructure alone cost $114 million over the past year.

“NAB has made significant structural changes to align our organisation with the external environment and evolving customer behaviours," CEO Cameron Clyne said in a statement.

"As a result we are making it easier for our customers and our people to do business with us".

More money into IT

NAB increased its investment in infrastructure projects by $78 million from last year to $1.1 billion, due to further investment in its technology transformation. 

Over the past year NAB introduced its new payments gateway, developed a new data centre at Deer Park and deployed additional capacity to subsidiary UBank.

It also opened its ‘smart store’ concept branch on Melbourne’s Bourke Street — a mobile-heavy self-service store developed in conjunction with Apple and Samsung. 

The bank recorded a 9 percent rise in net profit to $5.5 billion for the full year. Earnings were also up 9.3 percent to $5.9 billion.

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