Commonwealth Bank to cut 250 jobs, says Finance Sector Union

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The Commonwealth Bank is cutting 251 jobs across its technology, retail banking and business banking operations, the Finance Sector Union says, in the latest sign of cost-cutting from a major bank.

The union on Wednesday took aim at the reduction in staff, which comes after CBA cut more than 200 jobs two months ago, at a time when the bank’s bottom line has been benefiting from rising interest rates and low bad debts.

The Finance Sector Union says Commonwealth Bank is cutting 251 positions.Credit: Will Willitts

A CBA spokesman confirmed there had been consultation about job cuts and did not dispute that 251 positions could be affected, but he said some of the people in these roles could possibly be redeployed elsewhere at the bank.

Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano said CBA employees were worried the cuts would increase the workload for remaining staff, saying workers in the bank were already complaining about problems with staffing.

“The jobs being lost are specialists across a range of areas and it is hard to believe that the bank can afford to lose so many experienced staff at the same time that it has a significant overwork problem across the organisation,” Angrisano said.

“CBA staff are concerned that the job losses will lead to further workload problems for remaining
staff which will ultimately impact on customers.”

CBA’s spokesman said the bank employed about 50,000 people in Australia and overseas, it had recruited more than 10,000 people since 2021, and that its priority was to talk to affected employees.

“As part of our focus on business improvement, we regularly review the skills we need and how we are organised. That means from time to time some roles and work can change or may no longer be required,” he said.

The number of CBA customer-facing staff would not be reduced, he said.

CBA did not provide details of why the jobs were being cut, but the increasing digitisation of finance has prompted banks to remove some back-office jobs. Last month, the union said Westpac had also cut several hundred positions.

CBA, Australia’s biggest bank, is set to report its full-year earnings to the market on August 9, at a time when banks continue to benefit from historically low levels of bad debts, despite signs of the growing financial pressure on borrowers from higher interest rates.

Analysts expect the bank will report cash earnings of about $10 billion for the year to June. A recent note from Morgan Stanley forecast CBA would lift its final dividend to $2.35 a share, which would be higher than the final dividend peak from 2019, when it paid $2.31 a share.

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