ANZ Bank’s CEO is paying recognition to hundreds of staff by taking them on an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise – days after the bank sacked over a thousand of its workers.
According to the Daily Telegraph, over two hundred staff will be accompanying ANZ’s chief executive Mike Smith on a five-day butler-serviced cruise on the “world’s best” luxury cruise liner being hired for over $NZ1.2 million.
Irony has engulfed the bank’s recent decisions after over a thousand workers at the company had been sacked merely days before word of the luxury trip had come out into the open, raising concerns among many about whether the bank is putting luxury before cost efficiency and employee job security.
In addition to the job cuts, the bank has also confirmed that backroom jobs are being outsourced to India and the Philippines.
Mike Smith was unavailable for immediate comment regarding the issue, with several ANZ spokespeople unable to provide any details of his whereabouts.
A spokesperson for Choice, an Australian consumer advocacy group, has said the bank’s advertising slogan “we live in your world” is not at all in touch with reality.
“The excesses of this trip reinforce the stereotype of fat cat bankers popping champagne corks on the high seas laughing about how they have been able to pull a fast one on home loan customers,” said Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn.
In response, an ANZ spokesman said the cruise is being organised for the bank’s top 100 performers, many of them junior staff who get little recognition for what they do.
“It is not about executives who are well paid, rather these are the people at the coal face in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific on the phone and in branches or in the back office who are supporting our customers, helping them out,” he said.
The liner will cost the bank $A1 million ($NZ1.2 million) to hire, with a further $A750,000 ($NZ963,894) being spent on flights for staff to board the cruise liner in Singapore.