Video: FSU National Secretary Leon Carter talking about the link between bank profits and secure finance sector jobs.
"By sacking people it (ANZ) was able to boost profit significantly. Put simply, a reduction in headcount produced 22 per cent of the increase in profit from the first half of 2012 to the first half of 2013."
Sydney Morning Herald, 1st May 2013
In their latest public announcement of impressive facts and figures in reporting the half year result, ANZ continue to prove that their profits are more important to the bank than their people. Disappointingly there is no mention given to the people whose jobs and livelihoods have been lost in order to achieve this outcome.
In an interesting comparison, the number of FTE jobs at Wespac has actually increased at the same time as the bank reported a 10% profit increase - demonstrating that profit does not actually have to come at the expense of jobs.
Culling jobs in order to boost profits is indicative of pure and relentless corporate greed.
Our finance industry is the most stable and successful in the world, and workers should therefore be entitled to job security and their fair share of these astronomical profits. There is no excuse for finance sector workers to be losing their jobs when they work in the country’s most profitable industry. If billion dollar companies like ANZ are making money out of our communities then it’s time they started returning the favour and investing in Australian jobs and skills.
NAB’s half-year results were announced today. The bank reported cash earnings of $2.92 billion, up 3.1 per cent rise, and a 22.8 per cent increase in net profit to $2.52 billion.
In achieving this result NAB cut jobs by 731 FTE globally, driven by a reduction in the UK of 795 FTE jobs.
FSU members turned out in large numbers in Sydney and Brisbane to celebrate May Day, the international day of worker solidarity. The day, known as Labour Day in Queensland, generally attracts large crowds in the northern state. Large crowds assembled and marched across Queensland, and big numbers also gathered in Sydney and Melbourne. The May Day rally in Canberra was the biggest in the nation’s capital in living memory! Thanks to everyone who came along. Let’s make the FSU contingents even BIGGER next year.
May Day Photo gallery
FSU members have regularly nominated target stress and performance pay uncertainty as key issues that if addressed would make working in the finance sector much better.
For members at St George Bank, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne the issue is coming to a head, with employees participating in a ballot in coming months to decide if performance pay should be introduced.
Recently, The Australian Financial Review Workspace column looked at performance pay systems in the finance sector, in particular the annual bonus schemes at ANZ and NAB.
The article revealed that NAB have saved $30 million a year by making changes to the annual bonus scheme, including lowering the limit for bonuses and providing managers with the discretion to decide which staff received bonuses – changes that were described as “deflating” by one employee.
The article also referred to ANZ’s performance pay, reporting that 3 years ago the bank had reduced the bonus pool for the middle 65 per cent while increasing the bonus pool for the top 5 per cent.
FSU National Assistant Secretary Geoff Derrick told The Australian Financial Review that ANZ’s bonus scheme “comes at the price of teamwork and collaboration. ANZ has some of the most convoluted bonus schemes in the finance industry”.
“Too often these are convoluted systems that resemble going through the entrails of a strangled chicken to determine a person’s financial outcome.”
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The Australian Bankers’ Association, the industry body representing 24 Australian banks, marked the beginning of Privacy Awareness Week with a media release reminding us that that one of the most valuable services that a bank can provide is to protect its customers’ privacy.
The ABA is right. Australians are concerned about the security of their private information. The Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) recently published data reporting 78% of Australians have refused to provide personal information online. Check out the figures here.
APPA goes on to pose the question “What are you doing to protect your privacy?” putting the onus squarely on the consumer.
But when you consider the extent to which banks and insurance companies have (and continue to) offshore jobs, shouldn’t the question be “What are banks and insurance companies doing to protect your privacy?”
If our banks and insurance companies really do want to protect our privacy, the best way to do that is to keep jobs and our data in Australia.
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The Services Leaders Group, an important element of the Government’s plan for Australian jobs, is part of a strategic mechanism for the Government to consult with leaders in business, unions and the research sector. It will encourage industry-led transformation of the services sector, including finance. The FSU will have a seat at the table and be an active member of the group, with FSU National Secretary Leon Carter named the Deputy Chair.
With more than 20,000 Australian services sector jobs lost offshore each year, the establishment of the Services Leaders Group is a crucial step to securing the jobs of the future. The group will explore a wide range of industry issues such as services innovation, productivity, skills and international engagement. It will also undertake and commission research, providing advice to the government and championing the building of better firms and workplaces.
The creation of this group therefore responds to public anxieties over offshoring and is a welcome move in the fight to keep services sector jobs in the country.
“The services sector is losing Australian-based jobs and skills, and once they are lost they are gone forever. Workers in jobs at risk, such as finance and insurance jobs, and professional office-based jobs, can now have their voice heard in a forum that is focused on enhancing the industry, and improving workplaces. That’s a win for workers,” said Leon Carter.
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FSU provides members with access to discounted private health insurance through HCF. From 1st April 2013, private health insurance funds across Australia increased their premiums by an average of 5.6%*.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) recommends reviewing your policy each year to ensure your level of cover is appropriate for your needs. The annual percentage increase varies by health fund, state and product type; therefore now is a good time to compare private health insurance policies to see which offers you the best value for money.
Contact FSU Member Advantage today on 1300 853 352 to see if we can help you save on your health premiums, or, complete our Free Health Assessment and one of expert consultants will assist you with a quote.
* Source: Australian Government Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (www.privatehealth.gov.au)
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Authorised by FSU National Secretary Leon Carter