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CBA commits to local jobs
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:20pm

CBA boss Ian Narev has committed to retaining local staff and not moving offshore, despite pressures from customer preferences, instead promising to simplify products.

Speaking in a shareholder briefing yesterday, Narev said the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has a long-term focus and will not be offshoring any roles despite a lower growth environment.

"We don't think the right thing to do for long term value is to set targets and aggressively rid ourselves of people in order to achieve those short-term targets," said Narev.

Outlining their approach, Narev said that it can and has resulted in individual roles no longer being required and can and has resulted in some redundancies.

"That happens in good organisations in good times and in bad. But that is a different approach from setting targets in the short term and managing towards them."

Narev also allayed fears that CBA will move jobs offshore as other major banks have done over the past 12 months.

"We see the value in our enterprise without having to send our jobs offshore ... Technology is driving change in customer preferences with increased demands from other stakeholders such as regulators and the community in particular," said Narev.

"Technology is changing customer preferences and that technology is leading customers to choose more how they engaged with the group, where they engage with the group and how they can do what they want to do."

Narev said the goal will be to significantly simplify its products rather than proliferation, and therefore do a better job to identify and meet more customer needs.

Narev's comments reflect the wide impact changing customer preferences are having on the wealth management sector after ANZ Wealth said it would cut 230 roles from its division due to rising costs and customer preferences.

"The changes in our Wealth business are in response to a challenging environment which has emerged in recent years," an ANZ spokesperson told Financial Standard at the time.

"This includes changed customer preferences for Wealth products following the GFC and increasing competition which is placing pressure on margins and costs."

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