JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to dismiss several hundred workers from its consumer unit as the lender seeks to rein in costs, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank intends to notify affected employees on Feb. 6 and cuts will be scattered across the division, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The consumer unit, which houses the deposit, credit-card, home and auto lending businesses, contributes nearly half of the firm’s revenue. Banks around the world have cut thousands of jobs as they slash costs to weather a slowing economy and adapt to shifts in consumer behavior and in digital technology. At JPMorgan, the cuts are part of a broader review of operations as customers increasingly access banking services through mobile phones or digital platforms. A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment. The planned cuts represent about 1% of employees in the unit and workers will be given the chance to apply for other roles in the firm, another person said. Under co-President Gordon Smith, who leads the consumer bank, expense management has been an area of intense focus. JPMorgan cut around 7,000 operations jobs from the unit in the four years through 2018, and the bank said in February that reductions would continue. Overall headcount in the unit fell 2% to 127,137 at the end of last year, the lowest since 2015, according to the bank’s latest quarterly report. The New York-based firm has poured billions of dollars into technology to make it easier for customers to access services without the help of traditional workers. More than 80% of transactions in the consumer bank were completed through so-called “self-service” channels in 2018, according to the February presentation. At the same time, it’s been opening up hundreds of branches in new states to attract customers and boost lending -- even as its total branch count has slipped. The count fell below 5,000 last year for the first time since before JPMorgan took over Washington Mutual Inc.’s banking operations during the height of the financial crisis.
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