Abbey HR boss rejects new role

One of the most senior HR professionals at Abbey has resigned after been given a lesser role as part of the high-street bank’s £9bn takeover by Spanish banking giant Banco Santander.

Jane Burt, who up until this year was HR director, will leave the company in mid-July. Her job became redundant in March and for the past three months she has been working as HR planning and programme manager. However, Burt admitted that the new role had not turned out as planned.

“It’s a real shame, but after six challenging years [at Abbey] I think it is the right decision,” she told Personnel Today.

Burt said the new role offered to her was not enhancing her skillset or “playing to her strengths”. She will now take some time off over the summer to assess her options.

When Banco Santander bought Abbey in November last year, it initially announced 3,000 job losses in the UK, but last month upped that figure to 4,000, mostly from back-office functions such as HR.

A spokesman refused to disclose the specific number of HR job cuts, but said 1,000 people from the 26,000 strong workforce had already gone and the remaining cuts would happen this year.

The job losses form part of Banco Santander’s plans to achieve cost savings of 300m within three years. Last week, chief executive Alfredo Saenz said that profits for the first half of this year are likely to better than forecast.

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