New banking centres combining business, private banking and wealth management, as well as continued job cuts are expected through 2005 as a result of National Australia Bank's (NABs) continuing restructuring of its UK businesses.
Included in this are Yorkshire and Clydesdale bank branches, some 40 of which will be converted to Financial Solutions Centres in the North as part of the plan to realise annual savings of £117m.
Fifteen centres have been opened in the Southeast already, with a further 15 planned to open by the end of 2005. Their focus will be small to medium-sized business customers.
NAB’s changes will also see the establishment of 50 “flagship” high street bank branches , which will also offer banking to the “micro-business” sector of the market.Product ranges are to be simplified and mortgage product distribution done through a “third party”.
The Yorkshire and Clydesdale bank brands will be promoted and investment carried out to boost their telephone and internet channels.
Big savings are planned from cutting management and administration staff costs. Some 400 staff have already been told of job cuts, and NAB foresees some 1,700 jobs going in total within the next 12 to 18 months.
According to information from NAB, the cuts will be spread as follows: 400 from distribution, 200 from products, 500 from production, and 600 from central support.
The changes to NAB’s UK business follows a retreat from the retail banking markets in Ireland and Northern Ireland with the sale respectively of National Irish Bank and Northern Bank to Danske Bank Group for £967m in cash. The two banks were bought in 1987, when NAB acquired Clydesdale from the then Midland Bank. At the time the sale to Danske was announced, NAB chief executive John Stewart said the change would “allow our leadership team to focus all their attention on our operations in Great Britain.”IFAonline
Due to leave 31 May
Latest news and analysis
Underperformance still present – for now
Regtech or fintech
15% increase in number of claims paid