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IT stays surprisingly stable

Amid all the talk of Aussie banks axing headcounts, your job now looks safer if you’re a techie rather than a trader.

Cost cutting on the IT front will probably mean a few postponed projects, rather than mass redundancies. And one of the biggest banking upgrades – CBA’s four-year, AU$580m IT renewal – is definitely going ahead, with recruiters still hiring.

And what of the other large local banks? ANZ’s plans to trim its management will have little impact on IT roles. However, the firm tells us that it plans to increase its use of offshoring, which could potentially hit local IT employment in the longer term.

NAB is not making any IT layoffs yet, while Westpac, in absorbing St George, plans employee reassignments rather than redundancies.

Duncan Amos, at recruiter Bluefin Resources, remains fairly upbeat: “The banks are increasing their IT count – both contract and permanent, though there is a trend to fixed-term permanent positions.”

Frank Soros, at recruiter Futurestep, says cuts have happened in some vendor companies, but he reckons the large banks are already committed to long-term core-system replacement projects. “Other work opportunities will be driven by [banking sector] mergers and acquisitions,” he adds.

Steve Hutchison, at recruiter Price Barnett, has seen some IT job cuts in recent weeks but not at the Big Four. Geoff Officer, CEO of outplacement firm The Donington Group, says he hasn’t seen IT reductions, although he expects that any cuts during the current downturn will be in support and operational functions.

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