30/03/2005

NAB announces 1,700 jobs cut in UK

The National Australia Bank has today announced that around 1,700 jobs are set to go at the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks as part of an ongoing program to “rebuild, revitalise and grow” its banking operations in the United Kingdom.

The National's UK Chief Executive Lynne Peacock said that on the sale of the bank’s Irish operations, they were “concentrating on ensuring our UK businesses are more nimble and customer focused”.

She said: "We have made it clear that we are committed to a strong presence in the UK, but to do so we must change the way we do business. All areas of our existing operations have been under review and we are moving quickly to implement the changes necessary to create an efficient, competitive business that delivers leading products, great service and lasting shareholder value."

Mrs Peacock said to cover the initiatives currently underway in the UK operations the NAB would book a provision of approximately £109 million (Australian $266 million) in the 2005 half-year financial accounts.

The sum will cover the costs incurred on a streamlining of operations and reductions in staffing levels by around 1,700 posts inside the next 18 months.

NAB anticipates savings from the restructuring to be in the region of £117 million a year in operating and other costs.

While all areas of the business are subject to the restructuring review, the majority of positions affected are non-customer facing roles.

The NAB's half-year results will be announced on May 11, when an update of the progress of the restructuring programme is also expected.

The Australian banking group bought the Clydesdale in 1989 and the Yorkshire banks three years later.

(SP/KMcA)

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