10 Sep 2008

ANZ managers to feel restructuring knife

2:58 pm on 10 September 2008

ANZ is to shed several hundred mid-level management jobs in an overhaul of its corporate structure in an effort to become a super-regional bank.

The cuts will affect the bank's New Zealand, Australian and Pacific divisions.

The bank intends to arrange itself according to geographic regions - Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific, abandoning its existing product-focused organisational structure.

A spokesperson said the cuts would be confined to middle management and "several hundred" would be affected.

She said the restructure would not effect branch staff and tellers, and that there were no specific plans for widespread reductions to the bank's 37,000 full-time staff.

The move, announced by chief executive Mike Smith, comes just two weeks after the bank released a review of its securities lending business.

The bank's beleaguered institutional division will be retained as a standalone unit and a new wealth division will be established to absorb the ANZ-ING joint venture and private banking business.

ANZ retail boss Brian Hartzer will be elevated to the newly created role of chief executive of Australian operations.

The overhaul of management ranks is expected to be completed by January.

ANZ said it was removing layers of middle management in an effort to simplify its corporate structure, reduce bureaucracy and create greater transparency.