NAB announces $5.29B in profit and $6.6B in cash earnings

Reuters

Reuters

NAB Chief Executive Andrew Thorburn cited digital banking as the reason.

The announcement comes as the bank posted a cash profit of $6.6 billion for the 2017 full year, a small increase compared with 2016's $6.5 billion.

"This will result in a net reduction in staff now targeted at approximately 4,000 by the end of FY20, which is expected to give rise to a 1H18 restructuring provision of $0.5-0.8 billion".

The 6,000 workers represent 18% of the bank's 33,400 workforce and many of them will have to partake in various training options to find a new job.

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Thorburn said he was "optimistic" about the future after divesting low-returning business like Clydesdale and USA subsidiary Great Western Bancorp.

In doing so, Thorburn announced a NAB initiative called "The Bridge" to assist those made redundant in finding future employment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index which touched a two-and-a-half year high in early trade reversed gains to close down 0.1 per cent or 6.066 points at 5,931.7. The Bridge will actually help people out of our company across a bridge into new employment.

"Detail is light on how the bank has determined that 6,000 jobs are to be cut, and where and when", Angrisano said in a statement. The overhaul comes with the bank's net profit bouncing back in the year to September 30 from only AU$352 million in the previous corresponding period when it took a hit from writedowns for loss-making assets.

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The rebound was largely expected as last year's $352 million profit was dragged down by the loss-making sales of the bank's United Kingdom and life insurance businesses.

Despite the digital agenda, Thorburn remains wedded to the bricks-and-mortar proposition for face-to-face communications, but says that the branch network will move to accommodate changes in the economy and population, citing the creation of ten new branches in the fast-growth urban corridors in western Sydney and Melbourne.

"We do need to spend more to create the bank of the future", the CEO said.

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