(Bloomberg) – The largest banks in the United States and Europe added 19,000 people to their payrolls in the first half of the year, as demand for loans and other services increased during the pandemic and most of the planned staff cuts were discontinued.
Eight of the top 15 companies increased their staffing through June this year, while only four reduced it. The number of employees of three lenders was unchanged from the end of 2019. Barclays Plc had the largest increase, with more than 7,000 additions, and HSBC Holdings Plc had the largest reduction, cutting almost 3,000 jobs.
Over the past decade, large banks have consistently cut jobs following the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing global recession. The recent hiring by banks stands in contrast to job cuts by companies in other industries globally due to the pandemic. While the additions show that the largest banks are in a much stronger position during this crisis, it could prove fleeting as the moratoriums on job cuts announced in March and April conclude in the third or fourth quarter.
Barclays, for example, said it would halt the layoffs until the end of September. Wells Fargo & Co., which had the second-largest addition of employees in the first half, has said it will embark on a serious cost-cutting mission once the crisis eases a bit, without giving a clear time frame. In June, HSBC said it resumed job cuts after a three-month freeze. The company announced in February a plan to cut 35,000 jobs in three years.
However, some of the added positions are here to stay. Citigroup Inc. said in January it would hire 2,500 coders for its investment banking division as the company strengthens information technology. Bank of America Corp. plans to keep its 1,000 new hires this year while continuing to invest in technology and operations. And Barclays has added positions in investment banking and credit cards, where it expects further growth.
Original Note: Big Banks Hire 19,000 With Pandemic Boosting Demand for Services
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