One of Burningpants’ great friends has a very senior role at one of Australia’s most important newspapers. Recently at lunch I asked her why her paper never covers the shedding of swathes of staff by the banks in greater detail.

“No one cares,” she said, “we can track it now every easily – we watch who reads what on the website, when bankers get sacked, quite literally no one cares. If it was nurses, they would be marching in the streets, but bankers it’s a big yawn…”

In the past year literally thousands of people from the Australian banking industry have been laid off, purged from the system as banks increase efficiencies, improve their internal systems or just focus hard on bloated staff numbers.

Last week, while waiting to present some mortgage data at one of the Big 4, your Burningpants correspondent was literally wedged at a café in Melbourne between two different couples discussing their retrenchment packages and trying to plan their future. That same day, we received a leaked email from another bank listing 90 senior managers that were going to be axed, saving the business $5 million a year.

On the way back from a lunch meeting that afternoon – I stumbled across this pair of ex bankers – out the front of the old CBA in Martin Place, dressed in suits and playing harmonica and guitar based blues, claiming that they too were victims of the bank’s purges.


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