Australia's Commonwealth Bank working on secret plan to cut 10,000 jobs: Report

The head office of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in central Sydney, Australia, on Oct 12, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia is working on a secret plan to cut more than 10,000 jobs and about A$2 billion (S$1.93 billion) of costs, the Australian newspaper reported on Friday (April 12), without saying where it got the information.

The nation's largest lender is said to be considering closing up to 300 of its almost 1,000 branches, the paper said. A reduction of 25 per cent of its workforce could see 10,000-12,000 jobs go in coming years, the report said.

A Commonwealth Bank spokesman said the lender doesn't comment on market speculation.

Chief executive officer Matt Comyn had wanted to keep the plan secret until at least after the May 18 national elections, the Australian said. Job cuts of that magnitude would be politically sensitive at a time the banking industry is struggling to win back public trust after an inquiry into financial industry misconduct unearthed a litany of wrongdoing.

Mr Comyn has been CEO for just over a year, replacing Ian Narev, who stepped down after a massive breach of anti-money laundering laws that led to a record A$700 million fine and an excoriating regulatory report that concluded the bank was complacent from the top down.

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