Steve Johnston, Suncorp CEO
Steve Johnston, Suncorp CEO

Suncorp ‘bloodbath’ looms as report cost questioned

The coming "downsizing" at Suncorp Group has been described alternatively as a "death of a thousands cuts" and a "bloodbath".

Given that hundreds of Suncorp staff are expected to be given the pink slip just before Christmas, there is some justifiable anger at the reported money being paid to consultants Bain & Co who have been working since March on the sleek new Suncorp.

One insider told City Beat that Bain & Co is being paid up to $80 million for their work, a figure strenuously denied by Suncorp.

City Beat spies said new organisational charts for each Suncorp division were handed down to senior executives and staff last week. There will be about 10 days of consultations on the cuts with a list of names expected to be known by October 6. About 550 jobs are expected to be lost.

"There will be some long faces that week and a lot in Sydney," said our spy. While some inside Suncorp are saying the cuts are just "nips and tucks" in middle management, others say it is going to go a lot deeper than that and will be a "bloodbath".

Suncorp boss Steve Johnston declined to confirm union statements that the job losses will be close to 600 when last week's closure of 20 branches is taken into account.

It's probably no surprise that the large legal department is expected to emerge largely unscathed from Johnston's slash and burn exercise.