Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is set to cut 230 people from its headcount across its private bank and advice business in order to cut costs and build profitability.

Extreme pressure on the banking industry along with record-low interest rates are said to be the key factors triggering the downsizing exercise.

However, the adverse effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the economy is also said to have played a major role in the decision.

Commenting on the move, a spokesman from the bank stated: “We are now making some changes to simplify our retail distribution and financial planning capabilities so we can provide more focused and meaningful advice for our most financially complex customers.

“This means the advice team will be smaller, which will impact a number of our financial planners and support staff members.”

The bank has said that it is “committed to helping rebuild trust in the financial advice industry”.

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By GlobalData

Earlier, ANZ unveiled that it plans to cut costs by $1bn over the next three years to offset sluggish growth.

The latest decision to cut 230 jobs was heavily criticised by the Finance Sector Union (FSU), given that Australia was already reeling under the effect of coronavirus and bushfires.

“Cutting 230 more jobs does not meet the pub test for rebuilding trust nor does it meet the needs of staff, customers or the community, – it’s all about cutting costs to increase their profits,” FSU noted.

The recent decision comes shortly after ANZ announced 60 redundancies in its commercial business.