Liam Walsh The Courier-Mail October 25, 2012
SUNCORP'S workforce has quietly shrunk by almost 350 positions over the year, as the insurance-banking giant streamlines back-office operations and outsources jobs.
A corporate social responsibility update for
Brisbane-based Suncorp detailed that it had employed the equivalent of 14,890 full-time staff in Australia and New Zealand at June this year. Suncorp did not provide any specific reason for the reduction from 15,238 a year earlier.
"Companies of this size would expect to see some fluctuation year to year in employee numbers," a Suncorp spokeswoman said.
The update said measures of how staff felt about working at Suncorp, and support internally to get their job done, remained fairly stable.
The company has clashed with the Finance Sector Union recently over the offshoring of jobs to India.
The outsourcing comes under Suncorp chief executive Patrick Snowball, whose previous tenure at British insurer Aviva was marked by offshoring.
Suncorp has highlighted streamlining and "cost control" in presentations this year but steered clear of specifying numbers of job reductions.
"We don't make a virtue out of removing people," Mr Snowball told The Courier-Mail in August.
The figures come ahead of Suncorp's annual general meeting today.
At Heritage Bank's AGM yesterday, the Toowoomba-based lender maintained it would increase staff levels by roughly 20 to 725 this year. The additional staff were serving customers or working in information technology, Heritage chief executive John Minz said.
ANZ's chief of retail distribution in Australia Mark Hand, who is in Brisbane to promote branch refits, said the number of branch staff was remaining constant even as fewer transactions were performed in outlets.
Mr Hand said tellers were replaced with experts in areas such as small businesses to increase revenue at each branch.