National Australia Bank reports record profit and job cuts

Stuart Condie                                                       Thursday

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn said in this morning's earnings release that the bank's results "represents another year of consistent delivery".

National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) flagged thousands of job cuts as it posted a record annual cash profit on Thursday, joining a push by global lenders to do more business online and less transactions over polished bank counters.

"This will result in a net reduction in staff now targeted at approximately 4,000 by the end of full year 2020", it said.

"The changes mean NAB is investing significantly more for each person who transitions out of the bank, to help them to be ready for the future and set up for success".

In doing so, Thorburn announced a NAB initiative called "The Bridge" to assist those made redundant in finding future employment.

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The rise of the "digital-first" customer has been used to justify the loss of 6,000 full-time NAB roles in the bank's full-year result.

"Detail is light on how the bank has determined that 6,000 jobs are to be cut, and where and when", Angrisano said in a statement. It said statutory net profit rose to A$5.29 billion from A$352 million from the previous year when it took a one-off charge related to the sale of its British business.

Despite the digital agenda, Thorburn remains wedded to the bricks-and-mortar proposition for face-to-face communications, but says that the branch network will move to accommodate changes in the economy and population, citing the creation of ten new branches in the fast-growth urban corridors in western Sydney and Melbourne. This is in comparison to last year's net loss of $1.7 billion which resulted from the demerger and IPO of CYBG (the new holding company for Clydesdale Bank) and the additional $801 million charge associated with that process.

The CEO also announced changes to the executive team with Anthony Healy, now Managing Director and CEO of Bank of New Zealand, appointed Chief Customer Officer - Business and Private Banking. "Angela and Anthony are outstanding banking executives who have a clear understanding of what is needed to deliver a great customer experience", Thorburn said.

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