CLEVELAND, Ohio — Huntington Bank says it plans to eliminate 150 to 200 jobs, although the number of employees laid off could be fewer than that.
The Columbus-based bank, which has about 185 branches in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton markets, employed 15,780 at the end of the second quarter, based on its latest regulatory filing. The 150 to 200 jobs would represent about a 1% cut.
Huntington spokeswoman Emily Smith said Friday the cuts are expected to be spread out across the seven states where Huntington has branches. There was no indication how many of the jobs may be corporate positions, customer-facing jobs in branches or in back-office roles.
About 20% of its 868 branches are in the Greater Cleveland-Akron-Canton area.
Huntington blamed a drop in revenue stemming from interest rate volatility.
“While our business continues to perform well, the rapidly changing interest rate environment fundamentally impacts our revenue,” Smith said. “In response, Huntington has taken a variety of measures to reduce expenses, which includes adjusting staffing levels.
“We understand the weight of the decision on our colleagues and will support them through a planned transition. Huntington will continue to enhance the performance and efficiency of the company, while investing in technology to meet the needs and desires of our customers.”
Huntington is the second-largest bank in Cleveland based on deposits; it’s the largest in both Akron and Cleveland.
“Colleagues will be supported through a planned transition which includes placing colleagues in open positions” if possible, Smith said.
Huntington didn’t indicate whether it will offer severance or outplacement services to employees who lose their jobs.
The bank has been on a fast-growth track for the last decade, since Stephen Steinour became CEO.
Before Huntington bought Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. in 2016, it reached its peak employment in December 2015, with 12,418 employees. It had 12,363 in June 2016 before it acquired FirstMerit and its 4,000 employees in August 2016, for a total of 16,363. By September 2016, it had 14,511 employees, meaning it shed 1,850 as part of the merger.
The cuts aren’t unusual in today’s banking world. The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates twice so far this year, by a total of a half-point. Banks have said this is affecting their interest income and they may have to reduce expenses.
The region’s largest bank, KeyCorp, said Thursday in a conference call with analysts that it may continue to trim jobs as well.
“We believe there are ongoing opportunities for us to right-size some of the workflows we have throughout the organization,” Chief Financial Officer Don Kimble said during the call.
It employed 18,150 in September 2018. That dropped to 16,898 last month.
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