JP Morgan Chase to cut thousands of jobs

JP Morgan Chase & Co, the biggest US bank by assets, plans to substantially scale down workforce, cutting thousands of jobs over the next year as it moves to contain expenses and sell businesses, according to a person with knowledge of the plans, Bloomberg reported.

With declining home-loan volumes, the lender had been pruning down the number of mortgage workers and cutting the ranks of tellers as more customers used automated channels, according to the person, who asked not to be identified.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, the New York-based bank might cut over 5,000 workers by next year.

JP Morgan, with 241,145 employees as of 31 March, said in February it would pare $4.8 billion of expenses from its consumer-and investment-banking divisions. Banks had made cost cuts a priority with stagnating revenue in a prolonged era of low interest rates that had suppressed interest income.

The company eliminated about 6,000 jobs in the 12 months ended 31 March, it said in an April filing. According to the person, the number of total employees might hold steady over the next year if business conditions allowed hiring in areas including wealth management.

The moves come as the bank revamps its 5,570 branches to rely more on technology and less on human tellers. According to chairman and chief executive, James Dimon, the average branch would lose one employee over the next two years, mostly through attrition.

The layoffs on the other hand were more broad-based, extending across all the bank's major business units - corporate and investment banking, consumer and community banking, asset management and commercial banking. 

A number of employees in legal or compliance would also be affected as the bank trimmed departments that had grown over the past few years, according to people familiar with the matter.