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Is ANZ about to cut 600 jobs?

Leaked ANZ (ASX: ANZ) memos describe the possibility that up to 600 staff from Melbourne’s suburbs and CBD could be offshored in a bid cut costs – buy why?

In the half ended 31 December 2012 the company exceeded analyst expectations by declaring a staggering $3.2 billion in profit. What’s more, the company has managed to successfully begin operations with its ‘Super Regional Strategy’ in Asia, but apparently still wants to offshore jobs.

Leon Carter of the Finance Sector Union has said that “ANZ can afford to keep every single one of these jobs in Australia” and state opposition spokesman on jobs Tim Pallas says, “there doesn’t appear to have been a great deal of concern about these families and how their bottom line is faring”.

The move will no doubt be a ploy to save money but it may also be part of the regional strategy, particularly if the jobs are to be relocated to the Philippines. The call centre jobs in Mulgrave, Victoria could easily be relocated and the company’s history tells us so. The bank shifted 70 jobs in May and sacked approximately 1,000 in the last year.

However, ANZ is not alone when it comes to sacking and offshoring local jobs and staff. Last year Westpac (ASX: WBC) axed hundreds of jobs and NAB (ASX: NAB) followed suit earlier this year, cutting senior management in an $800 million cost reduction program.

Foolish takeaway

It seems all too often our biggest banks are stripping back jobs and fine tuning business models for only modest efficiencies and profits but Australia’s staff and customers deserve value for money. ANZ must be careful not to tarnish its reputation with the local market as it represents approximately 70% of revenue and is vital to funding its Asian strategy.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares in ANZ.

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