ANZ is set to slash as many as 1,000 jobs this year according to Fairfax. The Finance Sector Union has already been warned about a series of lay offs at the bank although they haven’t been given specific numbers.
If true, then this year would see more ANZ staff given the sack compared with those laid off during the peak of the global financial crisis.
Despite the record profits, Australia’s banks are up against dwindling margins as credit growth slows and funding costs rise. So much so, that ANZ started as of yesterday, to make its decision on interest rates independent of the Reserve Bank. For the record, it will make that announcement on the second Friday of every month, and yesterday it decided to leave interest rates on hold. The decision was made to educate customers of the banks changing funding costs, with less reliance on the RBA’s cash rate and more on funding costs which are being determined at the moment by the issues surrounding Europe.
But the job losses facing ANZ is being shared across the sector.
Late last week, the Royal Bank of Scotland said it would close its investment banking business, meaning 200 jobs locally would go.
Anecdotally, I’ve been hearing stories of companies pulling their purse strings, no more business class flights, or even limited flights, no more swish hotels etc.
No doubt we will be hearing more about the direction of Australia’s finance industry when we enter profit reporting season next month.
And despite the country’s unemployment rate staying at globally low levels, the skills shortage still persists, especially in the resources sector.
Maybe it’s time for bankers to switch jobs instead of asset classes…. ?