NAB cuts 6,000 jobs, despite making $5b in profits

Man and woman walk past NAB logo
Thousands of NAB employees will be out of a job. Image: Getty

NAB has announced it’s cutting 6,000 jobs from its roster because advances in modern technology mean people-driven jobs are no longer needed.

The announcement comes on the same day the bank revealed a record-breaking yearly profit of $5.3 billion.

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn said that digital advances in banking meant jobs traditionally done by people could be more efficiently performed through automation and online functions.

“So what we’re doing is we’re simplifying the bank,” he told media on Thursday.

“And as we simplify, we automate processes and things move to digital channels, we will need less people and as that happens we estimate that there will be 6,000 less people needed in three years’ time.”

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He added that the bank will hire 2,000 new staff members who specialise in digital skills, meaning the overall net loss of jobs stands at 4,000.

The cull comes just weeks after Australia’s last Holden factory closed its doors in Adelaide, putting 944 people out of work.

The jobs market has changed rapidly since the turn of the century with digital advances replacing the need for hundreds of traditional jobs. Banking, accounting and retail have been some of the hardest hit industries.

In September, a report from AlphaBeta revealed that thousands of Aussie jobs will be lost to automation by 2030, with men and those in lower-paid jobs most at risk.

Australia’s unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5 per cent in September, but ABS data shows there are 487,100 people still looking for full-time work.

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Digital advancement and a need for strong knowledge of technology means that many Baby Boomers struggle to meet the skills requirements for jobs they once did with ease.

The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has slammed the move by NAB and said they had a responsibility to their workers.

“Once again, we are seeing a bank put technology and profits before people,”J ulia Angrisano, National Secretary of the FSU said.

“Banking is an essential industry. Customers in both regional and metropolitan areas want to be served by bank workers. Finance jobs are changing rapidly, but customers need to be front and centre of these decisions too.”

What are your thoughts on this? Do we need more people-only jobs? Do you think companies should focus on keeping people employed?

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