Banks confident IT spend safe from cuts

Two of Australia's top banks, National Australian Bank (NAB) and Westpac, are confident that IT spend and staffing will remain unchanged within their organisations despite both banks undergoing business reviews.

NAB plans to release details of its 'Positioning for Growth' program and restructure in mid February, while Westpac plans to release results of its review at the end of February.

NAB's 'Positioning for Growth' program was launched in November last year to examine opportunities to maximise the organisation's revenue, reduce cost structures and use resources more efficiently.

Despite media reports speculating that the restructure will result in the loss of around 3000 jobs at NAB, a bank spokesperson said the organisation "has not reached a conclusion on how many people will or will not be working for NAB".

With the program now in 'diagnostic' phase, and the organisation reviewing it operations, the spokesperson said it is too early to say whether NAB's IT departments or IT spending will be hit.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Westpac also said it is too early to comment on the impact on IT as a result of Westpac's reviews as final decisions have not yet been made.

The spokesman said that the review is a product simplification process looking at simplifying the organisation, adding that while there has been some initial work it is too early to say, although he doesn't really expect to see IT spend affected.

Another Westpac spokesperson said he doesn't think the focus of the review is on IT cost reduction.

"I think they are more looking at where they can simplify business processes," the Westpac spokesperson said.

Frank Cicutto, managing director and CEO, NAB, said in November that the organisation would be strengthened and invigorated through the simplification of its structure, systems and processes, and the development of its talent base.

Cicutto said the 'Positioning for Growth' program is designed to ensure the organisation continues to meet its performance objectives, and will have a long-term focus.

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