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Aussie advisers safe in NAB restructure

Sweeping changes announced to NAB’s executive team yesterday and its $800 million cost savings plan will not see the bank cut in Australia wealth division jobs.

Asked by ifa whether NAB will follow the example of its UK subsidiaries, the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks – which have announced significant cuts to their in-house advice offerings – National Australia Bank CEO Cameron Clyne said there are “no parallels.”

“That decision [to cut the advice offerings of NAB-owned UK banks] is specific to the UK and related to some legacy issues there,” he said. “It’s not reflective of our strategy for our wealth franchise in Australia.”

Clyne said he intends to honour NAB’s commitment that the $800 million five-year cost savings target will not be driven by “widespread job cuts.”

“This is a long-term strategy and we don’t need to implement short-term strategies [such as job cuts] to achieve that,” he said.

At the same time, Clyne conceded that he does expect variations in NAB staff numbers over time.

“We have a substantial workforce and changes are going to occur,” he said. “They’ve been occuring over the last couple of years but we think attrition is the best way to go about that.”

More broadly, Clyne said he expected strong performance from NAB’s wealth franchise, which includes dealer groups MLC, Godfrey Pembroke, Apogee, Garvan and NAB Financial Planning.

“The wealth industry as a whole is going through major change and we are well positioned to handle that as well as eager to improve our performance,” he said, singling out the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) regulations as a key change.

“[Incoming wealth CEO Andrew Hagger] will have more to say about our wealth franchise once has he had some time in the job,” he added.