The oddly-named Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp has laid off an unspecified number of employees within its regional coverage. It appears that the personnel realignment is a routine part of the banks 2016 Project North Star long-term profit improvement plan that is based on both productivity improvements and cost reductions.
Bank spokesperson, Larry Magnesen, said, “We look at staffing on an ongoing basis. We align our staffing levels with market demand and the operating environment. At any given time, there are areas of expansion where we are investing, usually to address our customers’ evolving needs. In other areas, our needs are lower, sometimes due to productivity improvements. Clearly, staffing adjustments increase efficiency. That is a priority of the bank in order to invest in the capabilities we need to remain highly competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. Fifth Third is able to hold down the size of its layoffs by making regular adjustments to staff size and limiting staff additions in areas it might need to cut.”
Following the Republican Tax Plan, the bank adopted a $15 minimum wage for approximately 3,000 hourly workers and paid out $1000 bonuses to approximately 13,500 workers. It is unknown what effect that this may have had on ongoing operational costs or if the bank is simply cutting duplicate positions in preparation for the acquisition of Chicago's MB Financial in a $4.7 billion merger.
It is expected that there will be many more layoffs during the integration phase of MB Financial.
By the way, the odd name comes from a 1908 merger between predecessor financial institutions, Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank.
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