Bankwest has announced that a “handful” of IT staff and more than 50 IT contractors will be made redundant as the bank deals with the global economic crisis.
The redundancies, announced today, are part of a reduction of 250 roles on the west coast, and 150 on the east coast, of the country planned for the year.
Bankwest managing director Jon Sutton said in an ASX statement that despite anticipating no job cuts for the 2008-2009 financial year the redundancies were necessary for the bank to remain viable.
“The deteriorating national and Western Australian economies and a high cost base mean that Bankwest has no choice but to cut costs to remain competitive,” he said.
Bankwest was acquired by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for late last year.
While the cuts will not affect retail and customer help centre roles, the bank’s IT department would be affected, a Bankwest spokesperson confirmed.
“Bankwest has been looking at its cost structure for a number of months and as a result there are 50 plus contractor positions which will not be renewed,” the spokesperson said. “As a result there will only be a handful of roles in the IT area that are likely to be made redundant.” People currently filling those roles would have the opportunity to look for redeployment within Bankwest and the wider Commonwealth Bank group, the spokesperson said.
Update: the Bankwest spokesperson said there would be no impact on current or future IT projects and that no senior IT staff - the CIO or departmental IT managers - would be affected by the announcement.