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Commonwealth Bank to slash more than 200 jobs

CBA posts record profit

The country’s largest bank is poised to slash another 200 staff, bringing total job losses to more than 1000 in the past year.

The Financial Sector Union said it had been told by the Commonwealth Bank that another 192 jobs would be cut in back office operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth due to an “automation initiative”.

The latest round of cuts comes two months after Comm Bank posted a record profit on the back of rising interest rates. In August, it reported a 5 per cent increase in full-year net profit after tax to $10.2 billion — breaking the $10 billion barrier to post its biggest yearly profit yet.

The FSU said on Monday the jobs to go included 47 in consumer finance, 21 in “everyday banking”, 87 in home-buying operations and nine in lending at subsidiary BankWest. It said the latest cutbacks brought job losses at the Commonwealth in the past year to 1085.

The union said that, between them, the big four banks had cut more than 2000 jobs in the past 12 months.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, more than 1080 jobs have gone at Westpac, while National Australia Bank has made about 340 staff redundant since January. The FSU estimates full-time equivalent staff numbers at the ANZ have been reduced by more than 350.

Comm Bank has told the union that “automation initiatives” in retail banking and home lending had led to “simplified processes”, triggering the latest staffing cuts.

“It is clear that the CBA has no hesitation throwing workers onto the unemployment queue in its relentless campaign to cut costs and boost profits,” FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said.

“Workers in the financial services sector should be enormously concerned that Australia’s largest bank is now making workers redundant because of automation.”

Angrisano said Comm Bank had “a huge problem” with staff shortages and excessive workloads.

“Cutting staff does nothing to reduce that concern for workers,” she said.

“The jobs being lost are specialists across a range of areas and it is hard to believe that the bank can afford to lose so many experienced staff at the same time that it has a significant overwork problem across the organisation.”

The latest cuts in employment numbers at the big banks come ahead of Westpac, ANZ and NAB reporting their full-year results in November.

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