Banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to trim about 19,000 jobs from its
work force by the end of 2014 as part of a cost-cutting campaign, officials said during an investor presentation yesterday.
The reductions represent 7 percent of the bank's total global employment of 260,000.
The bank plans to cut about 4,000 jobs from its community-banking operations, which include branch offices, call centers and credit cards. It also will eliminate 15,000 jobs from its mortgage operations.
How the reductions will affect Columbus is unclear, but a bank spokesman said the company will work to find other jobs for affected workers. The bank employs about 19,300 in central Ohio, making it the region's largest private employer.
"We'll be making every effort to redeploy," spokesman Jeff Lyttle said, noting that the bank has 550 job openings in Columbus. "We do that all the time."
Chase has about 5,000 workers in its mortgage business in Columbus, primarily at Easton and in Gahanna. Nationally, 45,000 of its 220,000 U.S. employees work in its mortgage business.
The bank's total employment will shrink by about 4,000 people this year, mainly through attrition, while other workers will be redeployed to other areas, spokeswoman Kristin Lemkau said. Lyttle said the staff reduction in the community-banking business will be handled through attrition, reflecting that customers more often use smartphones or ATMs rather than tellers for routine transactions.
The reductions in the mortgage-banking business in part reflect a declining number of homeowners struggling with their payments, he said.
Chase shed about 1,200 jobs in 2012, after adding jobs in 2011 and 2010.
Job cuts have become a familiar story in the banking industry. Banks are navigating new government regulations that have crimped some old sources of revenue, such as issuing credit cards to students or trading for the bank's own profit. The banks also have said that complying with the new regulations is costing them more money.
Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs trimmed jobs in 2012. Morgan Stanley's current round of job cuts has focused on senior ranks and investment bankers. Bank of America has said it needs fewer people to work through problem mortgages, although it also has cut jobs in other areas.
Chase's CEO, Jamie Dimon, 56, is focusing on expense reductions after boosting net income to records for three straight years. Mortgage profits that drove banks' earnings might fade this year as increased competition keeps the rates on new loans near all-time lows. Some banks also are cutting jobs after a settlement with U.S. regulators resolved obligations to review foreclosure documents.
"When credit problems are mounting, banks have to throw money at their problems," said Chris Kotowski, a New York-based bank analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. "When the environment stabilizes, they can worry about operating efficiency."
Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said Chase expects to reduce adjusted expenses by about $1 billion in 2013.
Chase is seeking to cut expenses tied to mortgage servicing as it resolves regulatory probes and provides borrower relief, including home-loan modifications. In January, it dismissed more than 800 workers focused on foreclosure reviews.
Most job cuts in the mortgage area probably will come from servicing operations, which banks expanded to deal with fallout from the housing crisis, said Guy Cecala, CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance Publications, based in Bethesda, Md.
Information from Bloomberg and the Associated Press was included in this story.
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