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Chase Tech Overhaul Could Bring 5K Layoffs

The human cost of tech reliance is making an appearance at JPMorgan Chase.

As part of its efforts to rely more on technology, the largest bank in the U.S. will be laying off more than 5,000 employees within the next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sources have told WSJ that the bank has already begun cutting jobs (one person in particular attested that 1,000 of the 5,000 cuts have already been carried out), with the end result expected to be a 2 percent reduction in JPMC’s total workforce by year’s end. As relayed by the Journal, the bank’s CEO James Dimon said at a presentation on Wednesday (May 27) that the average branch would lose one employee over the next two years.

Specifically, Dimon stated that the average branch could lose tellers, but could gain a financial adviser as the bank moves toward automating more work with technologies — which is in line with the recent overall industry focus on Internet and mobile banking.

“It’s cheaper for us and good for clients,” Dimon said.

The layoffs will go beyond individual branches to impact all four of the bank’s major business units: corporate and investment banking, consumer and community banking, asset management and commercial banking. The staff cutbacks will reach some employees in departments such as legal or compliance — which had in recent years rapidly expanded.

JPMC — which alluded generally to a plan for cutbacks back in February — has reduced its personnel count for much of the past few years. Despite the sizable layoffs the bank is expected to dole out by year’s end, the total will fall short in comparison to last year’s cuts of 7,900 mortgage jobs.

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