Giant US banks hire most work­ers since 2011

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

SEAT­TLE: Three of the big­gest US banks boosted their com­bined work­force in the first quar­ter by the most in al­most seven years as JP­Mor­gan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co added 4,200 em­ploy­ees and Cit­i­group Inc stopped cut­ting work­ers.

The growth spurt – re­vealed as the trio re­ported earn­ings last Fri­day – was their big­gest since the third quar­ter of 2011, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

It fol­lowed an over­haul of the US tax sys­tem that ben­e­fited banks more than many other in­dus­tries.

The three banks now em­ploy more than 728,000 peo­ple.

The hir­ing is a sign that tax cuts may ease some of the long-stand­ing pres­sure on US fi­nan­cial firms to whit­tle costs to shore up prof­itabil­ity.

Still, the pic­ture be­comes more nu­anced when look­ing at the three banks in­di­vid­u­ally:

> Wells Fargo, which ac­counted for most of the hir­ing, said last Fri­day that it planned to shut 300 branches this year. That’s up from the 250 clo­sures that the San Fran­cisco-based bank pre­vi­ously tar­geted.

> At JP­Mor­gan, which added the rest, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jamie Di­mon be­gan pre­dict- ing long be­fore the tax cuts passed that his firm’s head­count would grow for years to come. Still, he’s said more re­cently that the tax cuts would help.

> And Cit­i­group con­trib­uted mostly by do­ing noth­ing. It has re­duced its work­force – some­times by sell­ing units – in all but a few quar­ters since 2011. It took a rare break as 2018 be­gan.

Three other big US banks – Bank of Amer­ica Corp, Gold­man Sachs Group Inc and Mor­gan Stan­ley – are set to re­port their quar­terly re­sults and head­counts next week. — Bloomberg

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