Bank plans to slash thousands of financial services jobs could end up benefitting brokers and consumers, according to Australian Finance Group managing director Mark Hewitt.
Banks are expected to follow through with reductions in Australia-based headcount this year, with a UBS report suggesting total reductions could number up to 7000 over the next two years.
The slated jobs bloodbath comes amid cost pressures brought on by the global financial crisis, and the bottom line benefits to banks of offshoring their workforce to lower cost jurisdictions.
However, Hewitt said the job cuts could end up benefiting the mortgage broking industry.
"What we have seen in the past during these sorts of periods is that customer service in the banks suffers," he said.
Hewitt said those staff leaving the big institutions could also find their way into mortgage broking.
"It's positive for the broking industry, because for those people looking at their career options, finance is what they know, and they sometimes decide to work for themselves as a broker," he said.
"We will see some opportunities if banks continue to push through to reduce numbers, as some people will find themselves in the broking industry," he said.
Hewitt said this was positive for consumers, due to the boost to competition this would provide.
AFG is targeting growth in brokers of 250 this year, after adding 250 'productive' brokers last year. The group's total headcount currently sits at 1850, following a reduction to 1700 during the NCCP transition.
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