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Daily Dispatches: 700 job cuts on the cards in Australia

Job cuts and offshoring have been common enough in Australian banking in the past year. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, for example, has plans to layoff 1,000 staff by September.

But media reports from Australia now suggest that insurance giant QBE could be getting in on the act as it looks to save costs. A small group of protesters gathered outside its shareholder meeting in Sydney on Wednesday, worried that 700 Australia-based jobs may be transferred to the Philippines.

The insurer has yet to confirm how many jobs could be affected, but Finance Sector Union spokeswoman Leanne Shingles said QBE needed to stand by Australian employees. “Our message to them is if you really want to be an Australian company you have a responsibility to growing jobs and skills in Australia,” she told Australian media. Union pressure, however, may not be enough to stem the tide of jobs being offshored away from high-cost Australia.

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