Westpac efficiency overhauls to feed IT

Westpac efficiency overhauls to feed IT

Summary: Westpac has said that savings from the streamlining of back office and IT operations announced yesterday will be reinvested into its massive IT overhaul, but group CEO Gail Kelly has also said that the efficiency push will cost jobs, and may see some workers pushed offshore.

SHARE:

Westpac has said that savings from the streamlining of back office and IT operations announced yesterday will be reinvested into its massive IT overhaul, but group CEO Gail Kelly has also said that the efficiency push will cost jobs, and may see some workers pushed offshore.

Westpac told ZDNet Australia that while it won't yet comment on specific efficiency initiatives, the work to make the back office more efficient will deliver benefits to its multimillion-dollar IT agenda.

Westpac's technology agenda involves implementing a new IP telephony system in all of its bank branches; upgrading two datacentres and decommissioning another; migrating five million paper signatures into a new, faster digital system; and installing a new collections case-handling system for retail and business banking customers. It will also see the bank roll out a new online banking platform for retail, business and corporate customers.

"We certainly recognise the new reality of banking," chief executive Gail Kelly told analysts yesterday.

"We're into a slow-growth period, and we expect that's going to be continued in the period to come."

More details on the new productivity plans will come when the bank releases its full-year profit in November, but Kelly indicated that it would involve job cuts.

"Staff will come down somewhat over the year we are in, and will come down somewhat over next year, but there are quite a few moving pieces," she said.

Staff numbers changed frequently in IT and technology areas, Kelly said, adding that the efficiency push would require work from both offshore and onshore stakeholders.

"Clearly, that involves sourcing some services from some players that are onshore, and some players that are offshore," she said.

Westpac shares fell 92 cents, or 4.35 per cent, to close at $20.25, much more than its rivals, which lost between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent.

Topics: IT Employment, Banking, Tech Industry

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What efficiencies ? in there IT ? How can they from outsourcing ? Big Blue and Co don't care, more dollars for them !
    jeff_syd
  • A multimillion dollar IT revamp at westpac and as of today, this big "Australian" only has 3 IT jobs advertised on its careers website????

    Instead of "some" workers pushed offshore, might I suggest "all" workers pushed offshore? Its a bit sad really.
    AussieJobs
  • @jeff_syd: I'm sorry, but I did not understand your comment whatsoever.
    @AussieJobs: I totally agree with not offshoring jobs. If the Call Centre/Customer services operations in my employer's company are sent overseas, you won't see me for dust. As it is, about 7 out of 10 times when calling one of our call centres, an "English-speaking challenged" person answers from within Australia. I don't understand what you are suggesting by "this big "Australian" only has 3 IT jobs advertised on its careers website????". Perhaps the other positions are filled?? I would suggest that Westpac's major priority is Banking, not IT. As I understand through a couple of articles I've read, and confirmed by a friend who works for them, the majority of Westpac's IT issues, particularly for their branches (being the majority of their business), are dealt with by IBM in somewhere in Victoria. So, only 3 IT Jobs advertised really doesn't surprise me.
    deeelite70