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Suncorp cuts 550 jobs

The bank lops off 4% of its headcount after earlier announcing it would close 20 branches.
The post Suncorp cuts 550 jobs appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

Recently unemployed man in white business shirt wearing face mask carrying box of belongings

Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) is about to fire 550 employees, blaming customer behaviour changes due to COVID-19.

The bank earlier this week announced it would close 19 stores and one business centre across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. But at the time the company stated impacted staff would be provided opportunities for redeployment.

Then the news came on Friday that 550 jobs would be cut, which is 4% of the current headcount of 13,500.

In its annual results last month, Suncorp reported a 33% decline in cash earnings.

The Financial Sector Union (FSU) called the job losses “short-sighted” at a company that reported a statutory net profit of $913 million.

“Suncorp is a large financial services company and should have the capacity to maintain its business operations through the global pandemic,” said FSU Queensland local executive secretary Wendy Streets.

“This is the worst time to be unemployed and we know how difficult it will be for some of these Suncorp workers to find new jobs.”

A Suncorp spokesperson said the cuts were part of the new operating model flagged in July.

“The new model is designed to deliver on our priorities and ensure we can support the changing needs of our customers through COVID-19,” she said.

“We expect a number of new roles to be created while it’s also likely some people will leave the organisation.”

No one uses branches anymore, apparently

Suncorp executive general manager Chris Fleming said earlier in the week that a 24-hour cycle was now the reality for the industry.

“More and more customers have switched to digital banking in 2020, and we expect they will still want to bank digitally beyond COVID-19 and face-to-face transactions will fall further,” he said.

“Suncorp must make changes to our business so we can keep up with our customers’ demands and remain a strong alternative to the major banks.”

Fleming added digital transactions had risen 10% this year and in-person transactions had decreased nearly 60% since June 2016.

Despite a tough year, Suncorp did announce last month that it would still pay a dividend of 10 cents per share.

Its share price was down 1.32% at 2.45pm AEST Friday, to trade at $9. It was as high as $13.54 in mid-January.

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post Suncorp cuts 550 jobs appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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