Westpac: Decision to send tech jobs overseas was hard

Westpac Banking Corporation says the decision to send 119 technology jobs overseas to cut costs was a difficult one.

A Westpac spokesman said on Tuesday staff working in the affected parts of the bank were told last week their jobs would go.
 
The decision to axe those roles, which supported IT development and systems maintenance, came after a review that started in November 2011.
 
Those affected would be offered retraining for redeployment into roles in other parts of the bank, if possible, or receive their full benefits and entitlements.
 
Westpac head of group media relations Paul Marriage said while these were "difficult decisions", they were designed to improve customer service and keep the bank competitive through using the latest technologies.
 
"We are committed to retaining our core highly skilled technology workforce in Australia," Marriage said on Tuesday.
 
"But some IT roles can be more efficiently done by external specialists like IBM.
 
"These providers have operations in Australia and also overseas."
 
Marriage said these 119 technology jobs, as well as seven positions in the collections area of the bank, were separate to Westpac's announcement in February of plans to cut more than 400 jobs and send up to another 150 offshore as part of a restructure.
 
Marriage said Westpac had found 1,500 new roles for staff in the past eight months as a result of internal changes.
 
The job cuts were first raised by the Finance Sector Union (FSU) on Tuesday morning, and national secretary Leon Carter said the decision was completely unjustified.
 
"The only reason they are losing their jobs is because our most profitable bank thinks it can now get the job done more cheaply offshore," Carter said in a statement.
 
"Australian bank customers are sick of banks sending jobs offshore, and Australian bank workers are sick of being sacrificed on the altar of profit."
 
The majority of the jobs would be from Westpac's Sydney CBD and Kogarah sites, as well as a smaller number from Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
 
The technology jobs would be gone by July.
 
Westpac shares closed down 20 cents at $20.56.
 
Meanwhile, ANZ Banking Group in February said it would axe 1,000 permanent jobs from its 24,000-strong staff by September.

Have your say...

David | Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 7:24 AM
I will be withdrawing $100K savings from Westpack ... would rather see the cash working for Australians
sylvia | Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 9:19 AM
Less spin, more factual information please Mr Marriage. Explain exactly HOW: "..designed to improve customer service" will work, how can someone overseas possibly be more helpful than someone based in Australia? "...keep the bank competitive through using the latest technologies." Australia is very capable of using the latest technologies and guess what? Australians actually have designed and implemented some of the latest technologies in Finance, IT, Instrumentation, etc. How can Mr Marriage possibly state (indirectly) that Australians cannot keep up with technological advancement? Put simply, the Westpac bank is outsourcing jobs to offshore simply to cut costs, let's stop the spin and stop treating Australians as mushrooms.
pat | Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 9:38 AM
WELL Juliar,,,,,where are you. These are skilled jobs being exported. Because the bank wants to save a million or two here or there. Here's a novel idea and a great way for the banks to show leadership and a sense of community. Let the directors take a pay cut :) and the shareholders a 2% cut in dividends until the economy improves.
Goldie | Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 5:18 PM
With the tripe this bloke is peddling his future could be in politics as one of Juliar's cabinet positions he would fit right in. Why can't the tosser tell it like it is and that is they save money by getting curry munchers to do the job instead of Australians. We will still not like it but it would at least be refreshing for someone to tell the truth for a change.
Stephen Kuhl | Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 8:14 PM
Sir, anyone who b elieves this arrant garbage is a MORON!! You know when a banker is lying, the lips are moving! Ifg Australia continues on with this type of ultimate destruction policy then we face a very grim future, likely being rounded up and sent to various "camps" in the outback, by our newly invading chinese dictators! Mr. Marriage I think that your wife should be suing you for DIVORCE, on the grounds that you are a woeful performer! The word one can sum up Westpacs meely mouthed drivel, and the other banks and large hungry corporates is:- BULLSHIT Thank God that we had MEN with BALLS and unchallenged loyalty and love for Australia and its citizens back in the 1940's! Just imaginde talking to the ??Curry Muncher, in some far flung bloody call center!!!! You wont understand a bloody word! Meanwhile, back at the Ivory Tower, well away from all tbhe lowly paid WORKERS, Gail Kelly munches on her Lobster Salad, and Moet and Chandon, with her boRed mates club, and cackle on about rtheir obscene salary packages!!! By the way, I am a 45 year member of the Liberal Party. What is being done to Australian families is so outrageous that I do not know how these people can look at themselves in the mirror, or sleep at night! Stephen
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