BNZ chops, ANZ shaves IT staff

The BNZ is to lay off 30 New Zealand IT staff, according to sources. But technology general manager Peter Fletcher was not keen last week to talk about numbers, saying discussions with staff were at a sensitive stage.

The BNZ is to lay off 30 New Zealand IT staff, according to sources.

But technology general manager Peter Fletcher was not keen last week to talk about numbers, saying discussions with staff were at a sensitive stage.

“It’s only fair to them that they hear [the results of the deliberations] from us first, rather than reading them in the media.”

A source with a contact at the BNZ says “30 are going, but no one knows who they will be”.

All Fletcher would say is that the bank is “commencing discussions with our team around our likely demand [for development and support resources]. We anticipate a lesser requirement.”

Those made redundant are likely to be a mixture of permanent staff and contractors, he says. The bank’s total IT team numbers 280.

Meanwhile, the ANZ Bank in Australia is expected to end its arrangements with 150 contractors, trimming the headcount in its IT operations, which also employs 2500 permanent staff.

The underlying cause, according to a bank spokesman, is the successful conclusion of major projects. The spokesman says ANZ has just finished a major PeopleSoft implementation, as well as the migration of its desktops from a Tandem system to Windows 2000.

However, the move is not having a major effect on the ANZ’s New Zealand operations, says spokesman Steve Fisher. “All we have done and needed to do was release two contractors,” he says.

According to Sydney-based IDC analyst Peter Hind, New Zealand companies will make dramatically less use of contractors this year than last. He surveyed about 100 organisations, with the results suggesting contractors would go from making up about 15% of their IT resources last year to about 2% this year.

According to ASB Bank spokesman Clayton Wakefield, the Auckland-based institution is bucking the redundancy trend.

“If anything, there may be a slight growth in staff numbers.”

That is owing, he says, to an overall increase in the bank’s business and development of a business implementation of ASB’s online banking service, Fastnet, to complement the retail version.

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