January 30, 2015 1:29 pm
Updated: February 2, 2015 1:27 pm

CIBC lays off staff as borrowing wanes

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) has become the latest Canadian bank to trim its head count as it looks for ways to improve efficiency at a time when all of the country's top lenders face a slowdown in consumer borrowing.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
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TORONTO – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) has become the latest Canadian bank to trim its head count as it looks for ways to improve efficiency at a time when all of the country’s top lenders face a slowdown in consumer borrowing.

A report in the Wall Street Journal Thursday said CIBC has cut more than 500 jobs over the past two weeks.

CIBC currently has about 44,500 Canadian employees, according to the bank.

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A spokesman said the cuts reflect CIBC’s efforts to realign its resources and improve efficiency but provided no details.

The bank said in a statement that it plans to hire more than 5,000 employees this year, despite the layoffs, but didn’t say how many would be to fill vacancies and how many would be new positions.

Back in November, Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs worldwide, roughly two-thirds of them in Canada.

Scotiabank said the Canadian job cuts were due to plans to centralize and automate several branch functions and reduce operational support for its wealth management activities. No Canadian branch closures were expected but Scotiabank did plan to reduce the number of locations outside the country by 10 per cent.

About the same time, Royal Bank (TSX:TRY) announced it was exiting its wealth management business in the Caribbean, following the sale of its Jamaican operations earlier in 2014.

RBC did not say how many jobs would be lost as a result of its sale of the Caribbean wealth management business, but noted that international wealth management teams in Toronto, Montreal and the U.S. would be affected.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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