Dutch banking giant ABN Amro is cutting IT jobs to cut costs before the nationalised bank returns to private ownership.
ABN Amro is cutting 2,350 jobs across the business. 1,500 jobs will be lost through redundancies and the remainder through natural attrition. The bank said it will create 450 new jobs.
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"Most of the redundancies will be in back-office departments (operations and IT)," said the bank.
ABN Amro was bailed out by the Dutch government at the height of the financial crisis, but it is expected to be back in private hands in 2014.
The banking crisis has left its mark on the IT profession. This year alone has seen Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and UBS cut jobs. The investment banking sector in the UK was predicted to see tens of thousand IT staff lose their jobs following the credit crunch.
But while permanent IT jobs are waning in the banking sector, contractors remain confident. Research carried out by Giant Group found 33% of IT contractors think the financial services sector will create the most IT jobs over the next 12 months, compared to 8% that felt this way a year ago. Meanwhile, only 9% of respondents think the public sector will create the most opportunities, compared to 17% in the same period last year and 30% in 2008.
David Bloxham, managing director at specialist contractor recruitment firm GCS, said that, as a result of large cuts in permanent IT work forces, banks need contractors to plug gaps. "IT contractors are often needed to complete projects that have already started and keep the business running as normal."
But he added that there is less demand for IT contractors in the financial services sector than he would expect.