Abbey poised to cut 2,000 jobs

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Abbey National warned today that up to 2,000 jobs will be axed this year as the bank looks to continue its turnaround under Spanish ownership.

Abbey chief executive Francisco Gomez-Roldan said between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs will go following the 4,000 cut last year.

It came as the bank said its recovery was on track after it turned pre-tax losses of £21 million in 2004 into profits of £596 million in 2005.

Abbey - bought by Banco Santander Central Hispano in November 2004 for £9.5 billion - said the further job cuts would help deliver a more efficient business.

A spokesman said: "The majority will be from the back office as we focus on the front end of the business.

"The majority last year were from the back office and that will be repeated this year."

Last year's cuts helped deliver cost savings of £224 million compared with initial expectations of just £100 million.

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