NAB to slash jobs, increase digital focus

6000 roles to go, 2000 new positions to be created in tech-focussed areas

Some 6000 NAB employees will be made redundant over the next three years as the bank simplifies its structure, automates more processes and increasingly focuses on digital channels.

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn said this morning that over the same period the equivalent of 2000 new full-time positions will be created in areas such as data science, AI, robotics, automation, and digital.

The bank this morning posted a statutory net profit of $5.3 billion for FY17, with cash earnings up 2.5 per cent to $6.6 billion.

Over the next three to five years, the bank plans to halve the number of products it offers and have 60 per cent of them able to be digitally originated.

It is eyeing an additional investment spend of $1.5 billion over the next three years, including boosting cyber security, automation, digital capabilities and the simplifying of its application ecosystem.

Thorburn told a results briefing that the bank was operating in a “fast-changing world”, with new customer expectations and NAB facing competition not just from other banks and fintechs but “more significantly the potential for global tech giants to materially impact over time our business model and economics”.

The changing risk environment means that cyber security and data protection require “renewed investment and focus” from NAB.

The bank will have “new focus and discipline” when it comes to technology, slashing IT applications by 15 to 20 per cent as well as strengthening and automating its control environment.

NAB will rebalance its tech workforce and insource critical roles.

 “We do need to spend more to create the bank of the future,” the CEO said. The bank registered a 1.7 per cent increase in operating expenses in the second half, with the biggest contributor being NAB’s technology and investment spend.

A large portion of the increased technology spend related to the industry-wide New Payments Platform initiative.

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