NAB to axe 6,000 staff, blames finance technology

By David Tuckwell on Thursday 2 November 2017

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Australia's fifth largest company will let 6,000 staff go, but hire 2,000 new ones

NAB is structuring itself more as a fintech

Australia’s fifth largest company National Australia Bank will axe 6,000 staff, as part of a new strategy to use technology more and people less.

The overhaul, which in effect means the banking major will act more like a fintech, come as the bank posts $5.3bn in profits. The company has said it will hire 2,000 new staff in other parts of its business, mostly data science.

“The world is changing fast and we must change and adapt too, to deliver for customers and become Australia and New Zealand’s most respected bank,” said Andrew Thorburn, NAB’s CEO.

“While new roles and opportunities are opening up, regrettably, some roles will go.”

NAB’s overhaul comes at a time that bank lending is under increasing pressure from nimble fintech startups. Other traditionally profitable arms of banking such as wealth management are also under threat from technology-based services like exchange traded funds.

Going forward, NAB will focus on areas of banking where it is strong, including mortgages and business lending. NAB is the dominant business lending bank in Australia and the only banking major to have developed its own fintech arm, NAB Quickbiz loans.

To soften the blow for its former employees, NAB said it will give its let go staff up to six months access to company resources to help find new work.

NAB is not the only banking giant to gut staff in the face of technological change. ANZ also announced that its staff count is falling. 

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