National Bank of Canada has announced plans to shed about 600 jobs to adapt to a digital shift by customers in the financial services sector.

Simultaneously, the bank has also unveiled plans to hire over 500 employees, mainly in sales and service and IT functions.

The layoffs are part of an overall restructuring that will result in the bank taking a fourth-quarter charge of C$128m after tax.

The restructuring charge includes employee severance payments and premises optimisation, and is projected to reduce the common equity tier 1 capital ratio (CET1 under Basel III) by 14 basis points, the Canadian lender said.

National Bank president and CEO Louis Vachon said: "Our clients' habits are changing, and our services need to change with them. The measures currently being announced will affect a number of employees.

“The Bank will make every effort to reduce the impact by offering a targeted retirement program under specific conditions, reassignment and career transition programs and severance packages consistent with market best practices."