National Australia Bank has delivered a $5.3 billion profit, but will cut 6,000 staff – why?

 In disruption

National Australia Bank has just announced a $5.3 billion profit, but will cut 6,000 staff – nearly 1/5 of its workforce.

How can this happen?

Simple. Just as John Cryan said a few weeks ago (and profiled here, workers behaving like robots will be replaced by robots.

National Australia Bank is set to slash 6000 jobs at the bank over the next three years, as part of a plan to overhaul the bank in response to the rise in digital financial services and uncertain economic conditions.

My view is that even though they have delivered bumper profits, if they don’t move now and start an accelerated digital transformation, they will be left behind.

Chief executive Andrew Thorburn said the cuts were part of a plan to make $1 billion in savings, by automating processes that were previously performed manually, slashing the number of products it offers, and changing parts of its branch network.

“The 6000 comes over three years and as we invest these sums of money to simplify the business. It’s going to simplify the bank dramatically, and as we do that we are going to need fewer people”.

If banks are finally agreeing they have to change in a massive way, then which industry is next to lean forward and embrace digital disruption?


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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.