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Wells Fargo, Citi to Resume Layoffs After Moratorium for Covid-19

September 16, 2020

Wells Fargo and Citigroup have both returned to laying off employees after pausing the practice in light of the hardship brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to news reports. 

Wells Fargo’s $10 billion cost-reduction plan, announced in July, will include an “unknown number of job cuts,” American Banker writes. 

“Most of the costs … are people and so that’s likely where a lot of this will be born out,” outgoing Wells Fargo chief financial officer John Shrewsberry said during a virtual Q&A session at the 2020 Barclays Global Financial Services Conference, according to the publication. 

Shrewsberry didn’t say how many positions are getting eliminated, and there’s also no indication of which departments will be affected, American Banker writes. Shrewsberry is retiring in the fall after 22 years with the company.

Citigroup, meanwhile, is going back to cutting jobs this week, saying in a statement that the layoffs will impact fewer than 1% of the firm’s employees, according to Bloomberg. 

“The decision to eliminate even a single colleague role is very difficult, especially during these challenging times,” Citigroup says in the statement cited by the news service. “We will do our best to support each person, including offering the ability to apply for open roles in other parts of the firm and providing severance packages.”

Citigroup has hired more than 26,000 people in 2020, more than a third of which were in the U.S., Bloomberg writes. The company had around 204,000 workers at the end of the second quarter, according to the news service. 

In March, as the pandemic was starting to rev up in the U.S., Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley indicated that their employees’ jobs were safe for the time being. Wells Fargo told Reuters that it would suspend new layoffs and pause “initiating new displacements.” And a person familiar with the matter told CNBC the same month that Citi would “at least temporarily refrain from layoffs.” 

Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan shortly followed suit, telling CNBC that there would be no layoffs in 2020.

And in late March, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo told FA-IQ sister publication FundFire that the wirehouse would continue recruiting financial advisors despite the pandemic.

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By Alex Padalka
  • To read the American Banker article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
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Tags:  Staffing and recruiting , Marketing , Bank of America , Barclays , Citigroup , Morgan Stanley , Wells Fargo

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