March 6, 2020 / 6:49 AM / in 24 days

Australia's ANZ to cut jobs, union says 230 to go

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a branch of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in central Sydney, Australia, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

(Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) announced job cuts at its retail distribution and financial planning business on Friday, and while the bank did not specify how jobs would be cut, a union said 230 would be lost.

“We are now making some changes to simplify our retail distribution and financial planning capabilities,” an ANZ spokesman said in a statement confirming the job cuts.

ANZ added that “this means the advice team will be smaller, which will impact a number of our financial planners and support staff members.”

The Finance Sector Union said Australia’s fourth-largest lender was cutting 230 jobs.

ANZ’s decision comes amid intense pressure on margins across the banking sector with interest rates at record lows and poised to go lower as economic growth is being hit by risks stemming from the global health scare over the spread of the coronavirus.

Since the Royal Commission inquiry that criticized the banking sector for not working in the best interest of customers, ANZ and its Big Four peers have been selling and downsizing their business to focus on core retail and business lending.

The union criticised the move given the risks the economy already faces from the coronavirus epidemic and the hit from the bushfires.

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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