National Australia Bank Cutting Senior Jobs to Trim Spending

National Australia Bank Ltd., the country’s largest lender by assets, said it’s reducing senior management positions to improve efficiency and trim spending.

The move is part of a strategy the Melbourne-based bank announced last month to simplify its business, spokesman Brian Walsh said today in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. Executive and general manager positions will be cut to 50 from 60, the Australian Financial Review reported today, citing people it didn’t identify. Eight senior bankers and wealth management staff left yesterday, the report said.

“Some changes have been made to its senior management team, designed to better align the business to the changing external landscape,” Walsh said, declining to disclose names or confirm the number of job cuts.

National Australia joins rivals in seeking to revive earnings growth after profit in the year ended Sept. 30, 2012 fell for the first time in three years. Last month, the bank unveiled plans to cut annual costs by A$800 million ($822 million) within five years and made changes to its senior management team.

Mark Joiner, executive director for finance, will retire by the end of 2013 after seven years at the bank, while Steve Tucker will be replaced as head of NAB Wealth by Andrew Hagger, the bank said March 13. Lisa Gray, head of personal banking, will take on the new role of group executive for enterprise services and transformation.

Industrywide Cuts

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. slashed 1,000 jobs in the year to Sept. 30, and in March announced plans to pare 50 positions in its institutional unit. Westpac Banking Corp. eliminated more than 500 posts early last year and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest lender by market value, said in July it would freeze base pay for employees with annual salaries of A$150,000 or more in its institutional banking and markets division.

Senior staff departing NAB include Scott Hartley, general manager of corporate and institutional wealth, and Michael Clancy, executive general manager of investment platforms, according to the newspaper report.