Abbey axes hundreds of IT jobs


Abbey axes hundreds of IT jobs

Arif Mohamed

Financial services firm Abbey has said it will cut 335 IT jobs as part of the restructuring plan agreed with new Spanish owner Santander Central Hispano (SCH).

Abbey said that around 200 jobs would go at its Milton Keynes operations, plus 85 in Belfast and 50 in Glasgow.

As part of the restructuring, a number of staff will be relocated, with 50 IT staff being offered redeployment to SCH's Milton Keynes-based subsidiary Isban. An additional 90 IT staff at Abbey's online banking arm Cahoot will transfer to Isban, which is preparing to install SCH’s core banking system, called Partenon.

Abbey added that the remaining 1,300 IT employees would be unaffected by the job cuts.

Overall, Abbey will cut 3,000 jobs across its group in a drive to reduce costs and make the company more efficient.

Peter Gruenewald, chairman of  Abbey National General Union, said, "We regret any job losses. [However these job cuts] are no surprise, as Santander had said that Abbey’s IT system was not compatible with their systems."

As part of the £8.5bn takeover, SCH said it will drop much of Abbey National's legacy IT infrastructure, and migrate the UK bank to its main banking system, Partenon.

In its official document to Abbey National's shareholders, Spain's biggest bank said that using Partenon to run Abbey's IT would save £305m from 2007.

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