BBC to cut finance department by two-thirds

The BBC is to slash its in-house finance department to about a third of its current size, as part of the corporation’s drive to find £355m of savings.

Link: Patel takes control at the BBC

In an interview with Accountancy Age this week, the BBC’s new group finance director Zarin Patel said that one of her first tasks would be to trim the corporation’s finance department through a combination of downsizing and outsourcing.

‘We have about 850 staff in finance,’ she says. ‘We will lessen that by a third through outsourcing, a third of the posts will be reduced, meaning a third will be left.’

Patel’s department forms a large part of the BBC’s professional services division, which itself faces 1,730 job reductions and a £139m hit to its budget. The cuts amount to an 46% of the overall division.

‘Quite a large part of the £355m is coming from the professional services area and from buying better,’ said Patel. ‘We’ve made huge strides.’

And she added: ‘It’s a hell of a lot of money – but it is doable’. Patel said that she hoped to achieve the cuts in finance by natural attrition.

‘In finance, because there is a high level of churn, and it’s a buoyant market at the moment, I think that most will be voluntary.’

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