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National Australia Bank to hire 600 tech specialists to continue its digital transformation

Having revealed last week a renewed focus on and investment into its digital transformation, National Australia Bank (NAB) has today announced it is set to hire 600 tech specialists across the areas of software engineering, data, architecture, and security.

The shift to digital, CEO Andrew Thorburn announced last week, will see the bank cut 6,000 jobs over the next three years due to automation and the restructuring of its products and bank branches, though 2,000 new digitally-focused roles will be created.

With recruitment now underway for the first few hundred, NAB has appointed a new executive general manager, business enabling technology in Yuri Misnik, former Digital CIO of HSBC Group London, and named Scotiabank executive Kyle McNamara as executive general manager leading its program management office.

Misnik will be tasked with leading NAB’s business-facing tech teams, including digital technology and corporate functions, while McNamara will be focused on managing the delivery of the projects announced by the bank last week.

Patrick Wright, chief technology and operations officer at NAB, said the bank wants to hire the top talent in the industry.

“We know this is an ambitious target and acknowledge the war for talent is intense, but these are the essential skills and roles we need in order to deliver our plan,” he said.

According to Wright, the $4.5 billion investment into the bank’s transformation will ensure NAB staff are “enabled and backed to deliver their best”.

“We understand what the fintechs across the world are doing, and we think we can do better, but we need to move now, invest in the right systems and people, and change dramatically,” he said.

This thought was echoed by the bank’s executive general manager of business transformation, Anne Bennett at a Future of Financial Services summit this morning, who said NAB is “radically changing” the way it works through a program called Customer Journeys – essentially, focusing on human-centered design.

“We bring together bankers, product specialists, risk experts, marketing leaders, digital developers and UX designers from all across NAB, all working in the one room to redesign some of the most important experiences our customers have with us day on day,” she said.

“We recognised the need to change and move faster to not only meet, but to exceed customer expectations. We had a strong ambition to be customer-centric but we needed a methodology and momentum to drive us there.”

In a big week for banks appointing tech executives, ANZ earlier this week announced the appointment of Ron Spector as managing director of New Business, Emerging Technology and Ventures.

Reporting to Maile Carnegie, group executive digital banking, Spector will be tasked with developing new business opportunities and technologies, and investing in emerging companies to improve products and services provided to customers.

The bank also former general manager of global design consulting firm IDEO, Opher Yom-Tov to the newly-created role of Chief Design Officer role in September. In this role, Yom-Tov will lead a team of design specialists in building out ANZ’s human-centered design capabilities, improving experiences for both employees and customers.

Image: Andrew Thorburn.





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