Chase Manhattan Corp. said Tuesday it
would cut about 4,500 jobs, or 6.5 percent of its work force,
and take a $320 million net charge in the first quarter in a
realignment of its operations.
The largest U.S. bank, following in the footsteps of
competitor Citicorp , which recently announced plans to cut
7,500 jobs, said the realignment included setting up a single
national consumer services franchise; combining
technology-intensive businesses and functions into a single
entity; and reorganizing certain global banking units.
Chase, which employs 69,000 people worldwide, said the
reorganization would reap $460 million in annual savings that
would be reinvested in its high-growth businesses. The
reorganization, which analysts had thought would entail some
3,200 job cuts, will also create a new business unit Chase
Business Services to reduce back-office overhead.
"Chase has emerged over the past two years as an entirely
new company with unusual opportunities for growth," Chief
Executive Walter Shipley said in a statement. "To take
advantage of these opportunities, we are moving decisively to
increase our effectiveness and maximize resources available for
investment in our high-potential businesses."
The job cuts come at a time when other U.S. banks also are
laying off employees to reduce overhead and boost profits. In
addition to Citicorp, J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. said last month it
would cut 750 to 800 people, or 5 percent of its work force, to
improve its bottom line, and NationsBank Corp. said in January
it would cut some 6,000 jobs in Florida following its
acquisition of Barnett Banks Inc.
Chase said it would effect the 4,500 job cuts in part
through normal attrition and a hiring freeze. It said it would
create "a substantial number" of new positions in areas it has
earmarked for expansion.