Westpac suspends off-shoring of bank jobs


Westpac suspends off-shoring of bank jobs

The Finance Sector Union has welcomed the decision by Westpac to suspend sending further banking jobs offshore ‘until conditions improve’.


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The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has welcomed the decision by Westpac to suspend sending further banking jobs offshore ‘until conditions improve’.
FSU national secretary Leon Carter said Westpac CEO Gail Kelly gave the commitment yesterday.
Carter said the Commonwealth Bank had previously announced it was extending its practice of not off-shoring jobs.
No commitment from NAB, ANZ
However, Carter said neither NAB nor ANZ — the most aggressive exporters of Australian jobs — had committed anything to reduce the number of jobs sent off-shore.
He said the FSU would seek concrete commitments from each bank CEO that the ban would be extended to all banks, on a permanent basis.
The big four banks have this month reported total half-year profits of $9.5 billion. The FSU estimates around 5000 finance jobs have been off-shored to date.
‘We welcome Gail Kelly’s announcement,’ Carter said.
‘It’s a good first step in building a better finance industry, and will save hundreds of Australian jobs.'
Finance workers need certainty
‘Australians are clear they want the banks to change. Finance sector workers and their families need certainty, and our community needs our major banks to invest in Australian finance jobs.’
Carter said that while the news from Westpac, which reported a $2.3 billion half-year profit yesterday, was positive, off-shoring jobs is short-sighted in any economic climate.
‘We’d like more details about how long off-shoring will be banned,’ he said.
‘And we’d like a broader conversation about protecting Australian jobs in any economic climate.'
Union writing to Treasurer
The FSU will also be writing to Treasurer Wayne Swan, that conditions like job guarantees and responsible lending be attached to taxpayers guaranteeing the banks’ risks.
‘If we can work with the banks and Government to stop creating jobs elsewhere and keep Australians working, that will be excellent news,’ Carter said.
‘We've had two banks move away from off-shoring, we now need to see this happen across the whole industry.'
‘Again, we wonder where Australia’s Government is. Because no matter how many jobs banks send off-shore or interest rate cuts they pocket, the Government refuses to require some investment in the country whose taxpayers help keep the finance sector strong.'
‘Australia supports its banks commercially and its taxpayers guarantee their risks. So it’s hard to understand how banks justify continuing to cut Australian jobs, fight steps towards more responsible lending and ignore interest rate cuts.’
Carter said it is clear Australian banks are weathering the global financial crisis well.
‘Nobody can look at Australia’s big banks and conclude they are anything but on-going profit machines,’ he said.
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