NAB to cut 1,400 jobs and close offices at Clydesdale

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The Independent Online

Clydesdale, the regional bank owned by National Australia Bank, is to cut 1,400 jobs over the next three years as it retreats to its northern roots.

Clydesdale, which also owns Yorkshire Bank, will close 29 of its business banking offices and six back offices.

The bank lost £25m in the final six months of 2012 compared with a profit of £77m a year earlier.

NAB's chief executive, Cameron Clyne, said the decision was taken after a "significant downgrade in the growth prospects of the UK economy".

David Fleming, the national officer of the Unite union, said: "The announcement is nothing short of brutal for the UK workforce. Unite finds it disgusting that the company decided to release a statement from Australia in the middle of the night so UK staff would wake up to hear their jobs are being cut through the morning news reports."

David Thorburn, Clydesdale's chief executive, said: "Focusing on Scotland and the North of England is key to ensuring we deliver improved returns.

"It is clear we must adapt to the challenging economy we are operating in. We have had to take some difficult decisions but they are the right decisions for our business.

"To secure a sustainable future we must concentrate on retail and SME banking in our traditional heartlands."

The losses were driven by deteriorating property loans, and bad loan write-offs soared from £131m to £282m. The Australian bank had been hoping it might find a buyer for Clydesdale.