21 September 2006
Bank workers want assurance of no New Zealand job outsourcing
Finsec, the finance workers’ union, is calling on New Zealand’s three big Australian owned banks to state that they will not be outsourcing New Zealand jobs to cheaper labour markets in response to major outsourcing announcements in Australia.
Westpac is currently planning to outsource nearly 500 Australian jobs to India. ANZ Australia, which owns the ANZ and National Banks in New Zealand, has relocated most of its IT software development and maintenance to an Indian subsidiary. National Australia Bank (NAB) which owns the BNZ is looking to outsource up to 181 jobs to India.
Finsec’s Campaigns Director, Andrew Campbell, says that Finsec is writing to the major banks seeking assurances that outsourcing will not also happen here. Westpac has advised Finsec that it has no plans at present to outsource any New Zealand operational functions.
“Australian banks make huge profits in New Zealand and we think they have an obligation to maintain and employ New Zealanders. We do not believe they should enter into international wage competition and move our jobs overseas when they are so profitable here”, said Campbell.
“In the past when Australian banks started closing bank branches to save money, their New Zealand subsidiaries soon followed. We know that Westpac’s New Zealand CEO, Anne Sherry, has visited Indian outsourcing firm, Infosys, earlier this year. This seriously concerns us.”
The Finance Sector Union in Australia estimates up to 50,000 of Australia’s 280,000 finance jobs could disappear if outsourcing continues. There are about 23,000 bank jobs in New Zealand.