14 Mar 2009

ANZ shifts 500 jobs to India

9:28 am on 14 March 2009

A major Australian bank has announced it will move 500 back-office and technology jobs to India.

The ANZ Bank's decision to move to Bangalore has prompted calls for the Rudd government to withdraw taxpayer-funded support from banks that ship employment overseas.

The Finance Sector Union says Australia's big banks have shifted more than 3,800 jobs to India during the past three years.

It told a Senate inquiry hearing on Friday government assistance to banks should be withdrawn if jobs were sent offshore.

However, a spokeswoman for the Australian government rejected the demand saying the guarantee was designed to maintaintain stability, not as a tool to influence how a bank did business.

Late last year, in response to the global financial crisis, the government guaranteed bank deposits of up to $1 million and also guaranteed the borrowings by banks to ensure their access to credit.

ANZ, Australia's fourth biggest bank, said late on Friday no jobs would be lost in Australia as back-office staff positions were created in Bangalore.

"X number of jobs going to Bangalore doesn't mean X number of jobs lost in Australia," a bank spokesman said, retracting an earlier comment that local jobs would be shed.

ANZ said its Australian and New Zealand call centres would continue to operate.

Australia's jobless rate has soared this year. More than 8,000 job cuts have been announced, with almost a quarter of those retrenchments occurring at clothing maker Pacific Brands.