Friday 16 June 2023


Westpac is wallowing in record profits on the back of mortgage interest rate rises but that hasn’t stopped senior executives wielding the knife in a further round of savage jobs cuts.

The bank cut 300 jobs last week but has now announced that another 116 permanent jobs are being axed from Premier Banking with more cuts expected to Mortgage Operations and Commercial Relationship Banking. Westpac has not yet announced the total number of jobs to go, just that even more Westpac workers face the axe.

Finance Sector Union (FSU) National Secretary Julia Angrisano estimated this series of job cuts would bring the total number of jobs lost over the past fortnight to more than 500.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the carnage in lost jobs at Westpac,” Ms Angrisano said.

“Westpac has spent the past two years savagely slicing into its national branch network and now senior executives are taking the butcher’s knife to carve through a range of back office functions.”

“Westpac pleads it is cutting costs in order to manage expenses but these lost jobs aren’t numbers on a balance sheet, they are loyal bankers who have given years of service to their employer and helped make Westpac a large, successful and highly profitable operation.”

“These cuts are harsh, unconscionable and unwarranted in the face of the millions flowing into Westpac’s coffers.”

“Only last moth Westpac reported a 22% jump in profits for the half year to over $4 billion after a healthy jump in its mortgage income due to interest rate increases.”

“Unfortunately, many of our members now being pushed out the door at Westpac will also be paying even higher mortgage repayments as everyone struggles with the current cost of living crisis.”

“This is a tragedy for Westpac workers who are telling us they are in shock and very distressed about the callous way the bank is treating loyal staff.”

Below is a selection of reactions from Westpac staff.

Worker1: “After 21 years with the group and accepting a new role from them only 11 months ago I have been made redundant. They have also done this leading up to a time where I lose my bonus I have worked so hard for this year.”

Worker 2: “Why do you constantly restructure and dismiss employees and lose talent due to costs only to rehire later on again for the same roles?

Worker 3: “Why was there no earlier indication. I don’t believe a company of this magnitude are making a very quick decisions. Progressive decisions have never been taken lightly before so the reason seems extremely feeble especially in light of the economic situation many people have found themselves in.”

Worker 4: “I am indirectly impacted. We went through a restructure in April, which was managed poorly. We are now being pushed for sales performance, with no support.”

Worker 5: “Whoever is making these decisions, needs to work on the shop floor and find the work stresses and loads. Not a good look for the bank.”

Worker 6: “I am part of a change team of 24 people, some who have been impacted. I am ‘safe’ but there is no understanding of what work is being left behind for us to pick up. What are the actual projects that are not cancelled and if there is only 6 of us left what does that work load look like.”

Worker 8: “Yet more cuts just mean poorer service to customers and makes my job yet harder. The business doesn’t care about staff and we are all stressed and wondering if we are next. Very stressful.”

Worker 9: “More dangerous extra workload on already existing workloads with no support to Business Banking Manager.”

Worker 10: “Why? We are all at our wits end and exhausted. Being in branch land we are the ones receiving the verbal abuse and the ones who have to live within our community.”

Worker 11: “I have a young child and we were planning to have another baby within the next year, which now may have to be put on hold because if I have to start a new role at another company I won’t be eligible for parental leave. I’m already 35 and so delaying a year can make a big difference, on top of the fact that our finances are becoming tighter due to the cost of living and interest rate increases pushing up our mortgage payments, so the thought of finding a new job is very stressful.”

Worker 12: “Our jobs have been taken over by a team in India called GENPACT.”

Worker 13: “My team is now in the process of handing over our roles to teams in India, myself and others now have to help train the staff will be taking our jobs with no clear guarantees for ourselves.”

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary