Woolwich to axe 330 jobs

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The Independent Online

The Woolwich, the building society turned bank, is to slash 330 management jobs in a head-office reshuffle.

The Woolwich, the building society turned bank, is to slash 330 management jobs in a head-office reshuffle.

The move, which Woolwich claims will lead to savings of £13m a year, follows the decision earlier this month to push ahead with plans for a £125m national roll-out of the bank's hi-tech Open Plan service.

John Stewart, the chief executive, maintains the shift will dramatically change the way the bank operates at all levels.

"With the roll-out of the Open Plan service nationwide we must now grasp the nettle and ... change our shape to deliver private banking to the mass market," he said.

Mr Stewart admitted that the shake-up inevitably meant redundancies, although he hopes that these can be kept to a minimum and that most cuts will be made through a combination of natural wastage and a recruitment freeze.

"Technology in isolation will not deliver success," Mr Stewart added, insisting that it must be accompanied by organisational changes anddownward pressure on costs.

The restructuring should cost £10m this year.

Yesterday's announcement was welcomed in the City where Woolwich shares rose 14.5p to 335p, an increase of more than 4 per cent.

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