Bank of Ireland plans over 1,000 job cuts amid technology overhaul

Sources say it is anticipated the jobs will be shed by the end of 2019

Bank of Ireland hired a Swiss software company last year to replace its  banking system, under a programme estimated to cost €900m

Bank of Ireland hired a Swiss software company last year to replace its banking system, under a programme estimated to cost €900m

 

Bank of Ireland is planning to cut more than 1,000 jobs as the group comes to the end of a sweeping project to overhaul its technology systems, according to sources.

The figure equates to almost 9 per cent of the bank’s 11,208-strong workforce as of the end of last year. It is envisaged the jobs will be shed by the end of 2019.

Bank of Ireland hired Swiss software company Temenos last year to replace its ageing existing banking system over the space of four years, under a programme estimated to cost €900 million.

The group, where former HSBC executive Francesca McDonagh took over as chief executive at the start of this month, has so far declined to state publicly how many jobs it expects will be impacted by the programme.

“The group has continued to maintain tight control over its cost base, while making appropriate investments in our businesses, infrastructure and people, including our core banking investment programme, which continues to make progress,” said a spokesman for the bank. “We don’t speculate in relation to future job numbers within the bank.”

The number of jobs the company is planning to shed was arrived at before Ms McDonagh succeeded Richie Boucher as chief executive, according to the sources.

Slash costs

Bank of Ireland’s staff count has dropped by almost 30 per cent from more than 16,000 in 2008 as it and other lenders sought to slash costs in the wake of the financial crisis as the size of their businesses contracted.

The bank launched a redundancy scheme in 2012, but, unlike other lenders, it never publicly disclosed the number of positions it aimed to eliminate. The total headcount at the company, in which the State holds a 14 per cent stake, has fallen by more than 2,000 since then.

While Bank of Ireland is alone among the country’s banks in not reducing the size of its branch network, it has been relying increasingly on automation.

About 100 of the group’s 250 branches will no longer accept cash or coins at the counter by the end of this year.