Saturday 25 November 2017

Financial job loss carnage on horizon

Dan White

Dan White

LAST week's news that Aviva, Ireland's largest general insurer, is getting ready to shed several hundred jobs is merely the latest episode in a shakeout that will see tens of thousands of Irish financial services jobs disappear.

Aviva is the latest big financial services employer to unveil large job losses. Already Halifax has closed its Irish retail banking operation, while AIB staff wait anxiously for their employer to announce details of its plans, which will see 2,000 jobs go.

With two Irish-owned financial institutions, Anglo and Irish Nationwide, in wind-down, EBS having been subsumed into AIB and the future of Permanent TSB also looking decidedly uncertain, there will be further bad news for those working in the financial services sector.

Despite this, employment in the sector has held up remarkably well with the latest Quarterly National Household Survey putting the total numbers employed in "financial, insurance and real estate activities" at 104,000, down just 5,000 on the peak of 109,000 reached in the final quarter of 2008.

So far financial services have managed to largely avoid the bullet of job losses. That's going to change -- and soon.

With the six Irish-owned banks likely to shrink to just two, other foreign-owned banks expected to follow the Halifax example and quit the Irish market and now other financial services providers such as insurers also cutting back, tens of thousands of well-paid white-collar jobs are set to disappear.

Sunday Indo Business

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