Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said Monday that it would slash 1,000 jobs in 2012 and continue an existing freeze on executive pay, citing a lending slowdown.
Bloomberg reported that ANZ Bank, Australia’s third largest, is not the only Aussie bank to take economic belt-tightening measures for 2012. Westpac Banking Corp. already announced cuts of up to 400 jobs earlier in the month. In addition, on Friday, both raised their standard variable mortgage interest rates, independent of the nation’s central bank, which left rates unchanged. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank increased their rates on Monday.
Peter Hanlon, Westpac’s acting head of Australian financial services, cited slowdowns in business and consumer activity to an Australian newspaper on Feb. 2. He also called conditions as bad as he has seen in 30 years in the banking field. ANZ Bank has 48,000 employees globally, about 24,000 of them in Australia. The announced job cuts will be domestic and will be made by Sept. 30. They will primarily affect middle management, back office and support staff.