Jobs Lost in North Carolina as Online Banking Takes Over
Bank branch jobs are beginning to dominate the layoff statistics in Charlotte, North Carolina. Two of the United States’ biggest banks, Bank of America Corp (BofA) and Wells Fargo & Co, has laid off more than 100 workers in Charlotte this year.
The most recent BofA layoffs came just this week, when the company confirmed that it is letting go an undisclosed number of tech and mortgage workers. In June, I reported on layoffs of a similar nature at BofA in Charlotte. The tech job cuts are part of the bank’s initiative to revolutionize its business model so as to better adapt to the fast-changing tech environment.
BofA, the United States’ second-largest bank, employs nearly 15,000 workers in Charlotte, which is North Carolina’s biggest business hub.
Just days before BofA confirmed its most recent round of job cuts in Charlotte, Wells Fargo announced an undisclosed number of cuts to human resources positions in the city. Wells Fargo, which is based in San Francisco, employs about 24,500 employees in and around Charlotte.
In early September, Wells Fargo laid off 120 employees with the closure of its Fort Mill, South Carolina mortgage operation. In August, the company cut 69 management-level positions. The layoffs come as the bank tries to improve efficiency and shed $4.0 billion in expenses.
Large banking organizations are feeling pressure to evolve with the times. Anecdotal evidence and a study of market trends suggest that bank employees who provided financial services at the branch level may be taking a hit due to the rise of online banking.
Technology has played a significant role in reshaping the retail banking environment. A growing number of Americans are choosing to carry out their financial transactions online. It’s becoming unnecessary to visit a branch to transfer money or deposit and withdraw cash.
Banks are witnessing a drop in customer walk-ins at physical branches. Consequently, the costs of operating these branches are beginning to outweigh the revenues being generated by them. This is why traditional banks are beginning to close underperforming branches.
All major banks are spending more on financial technology (fintech) to improve their digital banking services. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are beginning to replace human workers.
It is a given that online banking will continue to encroach upon traditional retail banking, and that technology will continue to kill more banking jobs. One banking veteran has predicted that technology could end up killing 30% of banking jobs in the next five years.
“More Bank of America layoffs hit Charlotte,” The Charlotte Observer, September 26, 2017.
“Wells Fargo to cut jobs at Charlotte headquarters,” CNN Money, September 22, 2017.