Australian bank ANZ says to cut at least 60 markets jobs

FILE PHOTO - The logo of the ANZ Banking Group is displayed in the window of a newly opened branch in central Sydney, Australia, Aprl 30, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia & New Zealand Banking Group ANZ.AX said on Thursday it will cut about 60 staff positions from its markets division across the world due to "challenging" conditions and "ongoing headwinds".

The job cuts impact 30 employees in Australia and a similar number across Asia, Europe and the United States, equating to roughly 7 percent of its workforce, spokesman Stephen Ries said in an email.

ANZ has found itself at the centre of one of Australia’s biggest cases of alleged white-collar crime following cartel conduct investigation by the country’s competition watchdog over a $2.3 billion (1.7 billion pounds) stock issue.

Australian banks are also being investigated by a quasi-judicial public inquiry called Royal Commission which has already earthed a series of malpractices and dodgy behaviour.

ANZ’s job cuts were announced internally on May 4 by Shayne Collins, ANZ’s managing director of markets, but the information was officially confirmed by Ries on Thursday after Sky News first reported.

“As you saw in the (first-half) results...conditions are challenging for our sector,” Collins said in an internal email to staff, a copy of which was viewed by Reuters.

“To ensure we are setup to respond to ongoing headwinds and our customer needs we have taken an opportunity to review our operating model.”

In its latest results for the six months ended March 31, ANZ reported a 4 percent rise in cash profit to A$3.49 billion (1.9 billion pounds), but warned that increased regulatory burden and fierce competition is set to crimp revenue growth.

ANZ shares ended down 0.5 percent on Thursday in a subdued broader market .AXJO. The stock is down almost 9 percent this year.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman