Australia's second largest bank has announced a hiring freeze in its Australian operations while denying that hundreds of jobs in New Zealand are at risk.
According to Business Insider, Westpac put a temporary hold on non-critical roles in place last week.
A spokesperson for Westpac told Business Insider that the freeze would run for an initial three-month trial period, and that there was a hiring approval process in place for critical roles.
Westpac – which employs around 34,000 people across Australia – has been affected by recent changes to interest rates and capital requirements, after the banking regulator APRA increased its watch on the activity of the nation’s banks.
In New Zealand, Westpac recently denied that a mass restructuring was underway.
The New Zealand Herald reported that the general secretary of the First Union claimed to have received a tip off that hundreds of the bank’s Kiwi workers faced losing their jobs.
Westpac spokesman Chris Mirams said that some restructuring was currently underway, but denied any major changes.
The company recently combined its business bank with its corporate and institutional distribution units, he explained.
“Following on, we are now looking at strengthening our capability and reducing duplication,” he told The Herald.
“It's an on-going process to ensure our resources are focused in the right areas to support our customer facing staff effectively.
“Any final figure regarding jobs is expected to be less than three figures.”