JPMorgan Chase to Lay Off 2% of Workforce Amid Cost Cuts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) will lay off about 5,000 workers, or about one worker for each of its branches, amid $1.4 billion in cost cuts, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the job cuts first, said about 1,000 of the layoffs had already occurred. A spokesperson for the New York-based bank wouldn't confirm those numbers.

Still, the move doesn't come as a complete surprise: Bank officials outlined plans to reduce expenses to $57 billion this year from $58.4 billion in 2014 at an investor meeting in February, and CEO Jamie Dimon reiterated on Wednesday the importance of operating efficiently.

"If you're in a capitalist society, you better be figuring out ways to do things better, faster, cheaper for the client," Dimon said during a presentation at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference.

The cuts are expected across all lines of business. Technology eliminates the need for people to fulfill certain back office roles, said the person familiar with the bank's plans, and JPMorgan has exited some businesses and seen slowdowns in others, including fixed-income trading and mortgages.

The layoffs don't appear to represent a lasting reduction in headcount: JPMorgan typically makes 40,000 new hires a year.

The bank had about 241,000 workers at the end of 2014, according to a regulatory filing. Net income climbed 21% last year to $20.1 billion on sales of $94.2 billion.

 

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