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National Australia Bank Rules Out Big Job Cuts, Union Says

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) Chief Executive Cameron Clyne has ruled out large job cuts at Australia’s fourth-largest lender by market value, the Finance Sector Union said in a statement.

In a meeting with the union’s National Secretary Leon Carter and National Assistant Secretary Geoff Derrick on Jan. 24, Clyne said the bank had no plans to slash jobs, according to the statement. The Union represents about 50,000 employees across the Australian financial services sector.

Clyne “acknowledged that the Australian business was in good shape and it would be a mistake to make big cuts here in response to problems overseas,” according to the statement. “Having said that he went on to say that ‘incremental change’ would continue as the bank sought to control costs and improve efficiency.”

The meeting between Clyne and unions came after the Australian newspaper on Jan. 16 flagged the possibility of job cuts at NAB in March. It also follows moves by Australian banks to protect profit margins by cutting jobs as loan growth slows to the lowest level in more than three decades.

Sharna Rhys-Jones, a Melbourne-based spokeswoman for NAB, confirmed the meeting between Clyne and the union did take place last week. She declined to comment on discussions at the meeting.

“We have an open and constructive relationship with the FSU and meet with them regularly to provide updates,” she said by telephone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney at nsomasundara@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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