More layoffs to come?

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Expect more cuts to come, says one broker, following the announcement that one big bank has axed 1,500 jobs.

“I think there will be more job cuts at Canadian Banks; Scotia was just the beginning,” Ron Butler of Verico Butler Mortgage wrote on “Brian Porter timing was smart, he was the first to do what all the banks will eventually do: eliminate internal staff positions. Keep the client facing staff in place but use technology and plain old "work harder for the same pay" to pick up the slack on the jobs cuts.”

Last week, Scotiabank announced it will lay off 1,500 people at a cost of $148 million.

Scotiabank … announced that it expects to record certain charges in its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter earnings, aggregating to a total of approximately $451 million pre-tax, or $341 million after tax,” an official release from the bank states. “The Bank has initiated certain restructuring initiatives in order to improve the speed and quality of service it provides its customers, to reduce costs in a sustainable manner, and to achieve greater operational efficiencies.”

Those “efficiencies” will come from across the Canadian operation.

Scotia isn’t yet specifying which divisions will bear the heaviest brunt of the cost-cutting, although it singles out wealth management operational support as one area that will see significant cuts. It is worth noting that two thirds of the reductions will be in Canada.

One former Scotia employee – and current mortgage broker – recognizes the move as a bid to become more competitive and efficient.  

“As a former Scotiabank employee for 28 years, I can understand how conservative and proactive is the Bank's mandate and direction,” Angelo Wong-Liao of Invis the Money Lady wrote on “To start tighten up now and to shed jobs for operational efficiency to compete internationally is a proactive approach.”
  • steve kates v.p. on 2014-11-14 1:16:09 PM

    its all about there share holders return, not employees

  • Joel Sida Mortgage Broker on 2014-11-14 1:42:14 PM

    It's always about the return

  • Andrea Taylor on 2014-11-15 12:15:56 PM

    Is it just me or is anybody else concerned about a Canadian corporation, one of our banks, Scotiabank for example. Record earnings of approximately $5.6 billion, profit to date as of October this year, and they are laying off approximately 900 employees in Canada? And they say they are concerned about our economy and the unemployment rate? How much is enough for the people (and I use that term politely) at the top? How much greed are we as a society going to tolerate? This smells like what happened in the U.S. with the big bail outs and the monies not trickling down past the executive floor.
    Scotiabank should be ashamed of themselves! Being in the business I know I will never refer a client to them again. They're motto should be "We're richer than you think", not "You're richer than you think". I hate over legislation by the government as much as the next person, but our government owes the citizens of this country a stable economy and with our government allowing greedy corporations to get away with ruining 900 families' lives because their shareholders want a bigger piece of the pie, well, that's just wrong and immoral! So, really in their own way Scotiabank is contributing to the downturn of the Canadian economy! Kudos to them for assisting in being the masters of their own demise!

  • Mary on 2014-11-16 1:43:43 PM

    @Andrea Taylor...

    Very well said!!

    Record profits at all the Canadian big banks and yet, at the first opportunity, they look to outsource or layoff.

    When will enough be enough?

  • Ronnie Kartman on 2014-11-17 9:21:39 AM

    What's ironic is that most of the anger and disgust towards banks is not the general public, not mortgage brokers or related professions--It's the people who work at the banks themselves who seem to have the most contempt. And for good reason. The banks in this country act like big, dumb elephants with money. And while it may appear that the reason the Canadian banking system emerged relatively "unscathed" by the US-led debacle of a few years ago was due to those institutions' cleverness, it was really due to the fact that they simply can and do act like bullies to their customers. And "slave masters" to many of their employees. (Something like in Ben-Hur, when on the slave ship Jack Hawkins whipped Charleton Heston and stated "We keep you alive to serve this ship."

    And as overloaded with over 8,000 individual banks throughout the U.S, you (sadly) almost have to expect a high degree of arrogance coming out of only 5-6 major banks across the country and a relatively absent competitive environment.

    And while I am thankful that Canadian banks did exercise the restraint that they did throughout the period leading up to the big fall, I am nonetheless sickened along with most people by their "excuse" of having to compete internationally.

    Ronnie Kartman
    The Renovation Co-op

  • Angela Wong-Liao - Invis on 2014-11-17 1:03:51 PM

    Unfortunately, profits and shareholders return are the keys for most corporations in Canada and other countries. Job stability is growing scarce over the past ten years and it will only get worse, that is why the number of self-employed individuals are increasing. Outsourcing is inevitable in the next decade for corporations because of their bottom line. Its sad but this is the future trend to survive and thrive competing internationally.

  • Kate on 2014-11-17 10:22:09 PM

    Greed , wealth and power is the goal of major banks. The customer is no longer the focus, even though the customer pays the bills, so to speak!
    And how about the CEO'S of the major banks, think they will take a cut in their salary and huge bonuses??? are they really worth millions??? I think not. Most major banks are top end heavy, management, and with huge salaries. Maybe if they cleared out some of the trash, and management worked a little bit harder they could achieve the same goal without laying off 1500 valuable people.!
    more and more people are going to credit unions where they still get service with a smile and get personal service.
    I have left the major banks and taken my business else where because the major banks are making money off the hard working people. rich get richer!!! wake up Canada!!
    government in bed with major banks!!

  • Andrea Taylor on 2014-11-18 4:07:20 PM

    I agree with all the comments posted here. Basic economics tells us that Corporations have a responsibility to their Shareholders.
    However, in this new economy we find ourselves in and with so much insecurity for the citizens of this country, shouldn't the Corporations who make their homes here have some kind of moral obligation to social responsibility as well? Any company doing business in Canada should embrace some kind of moral and social obligation to the communities and the people they employ and service. Including profit sharing and/or just knowing when enough profit is enough on the shoulders of hard working employees before cutting them. And they should have a sense of obligation to keeping their employees relevant and give them a sense of security, if it wasn't for their hard working employees and a loyal customer base Scotiabank wouldn't be experiencing the profits they are, along with the other big banks! Let's not forget what brought labor unions in......... fair is fair and enough is enough.

  • James Resourceful Capital Financial Corporation on 2014-11-19 3:08:33 PM

    Big Banks have a pretty secure mortgage business in Canada and there pretty much looking for growth in other segments. The first people they drop are usually the ones that are not providing them with the returns they expect. I see other banks following suit. But you know what, that's better for us. Mortgage brokering business is slowly growing and I expect it to continue. Banks have great rates, and many individual reps offer great service. But at the end they only offer what the bank has. We can offer a lot more. I always offer my clients a few options and you know what Bank reps cant. .

  • Ron Price/DLC on 2014-11-23 10:53:14 PM

    Love the comments of all the women on this post. The big banks no longer have any moral or social conscience, but really, did they ever?
    It's just that their true colours have been completely exposed and hence their vulnerability has been exposed. Angela and Kate you are right on, and I believe that the rampid greed that the banks now cannot help but show, will hurt them in the years ahead as consumer unrest grows to the point of major backlash.
    We people, together, wield the power. Our industry will thrive the more we educate the public about bank practices etc. The future is bright for the best in our industry.

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