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Revealed: the cost-cutting plan CBA wanted to keep secret

As many as 10,000 jobs are on the line.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) could cut as much as a quarter of its workforce under a new plan reportedly being considered by its CEO Matt Comyn.

According to The Australian‘s Margin Call column, Australia’s largest bank could slash 10,000 positions in coming years, adding an estimated $2 billion to the bottom line.

The article suggests the bank sought to keep the plan private until at least after the 2019 federal election.

Read: Your Money’s rolling coverage of the 2019 federal election

While the bank has declined to comment on the revelation, Your Money chief business reporter Leo Shanahan says sources have confirmed that a working group is in place focused on cost-cutting measures, including the potential closure of as many as 300 bank branches.

“My understanding is that the story is good and there has been a plan underway,” Shanahan told Trading Day.

“Matt Comyn has been wanting to shut branches in particular for a while and cut costs at the bank. There is broadly a plan underway over the next few years for [this cost-cutting] to happen. Bank branches are closing naturally so there is an element of natural attrition involved, but also a broader attempt to cut underlying costs.”

Your Money understands the cost-cutting initiative is being driven largely by Comyn himself, who formerly headed CBA’s retain banking division and was appointed CEO in April 2018 as the Hayne royal commission was in full swing, in conjunction with external consultants from McKinsey & Co.

Watch Leo Shanahan’s analysis in the video above or look back at Your Money’s coverage of the financial services royal commission.

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