Daily Management Review

While Goldman Sachs Reduces Its Workforce, Major US Banks Continue To Hire


While Goldman Sachs Reduces Its Workforce, Major US Banks Continue To Hire
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp persisted to hire as the economy slowed, despite the fact that the ranks of the five largest U.S. lenders had grown by 100,000 since the start of 2020.
Despite slowing economic growth, the chief financial officers of the two largest US banks said they would hire selectively.
JPMorgan's Chief Financial Officer, Jeremy Barnum, stated that the bank is still hiring and "in growth mode" during a conference call with journalists to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter earnings.
The bank's headcount will most likely increase modestly, although "there will be different adjustments at different times, and we're seeing that all across the company," according to Barnum.
Bank of America also continues to hire, particularly in wealth management, while remaining cost-conscious, according to Chief Financial Officer Alastair Borthwick on Friday. Its workforce increased to 216,823 at the end of 2022, up from 208,248 the previous year.
"We don't have any plans for mass layoffs," he said.
Mark Mason, Chief Financial Officer of Citigroup Inc, stated during an earnings conference call "We are actively seeking candidates to carry out our strategy. But we're also rescheduling where it makes sense given the circumstances."
Even as other lenders cut staff in investment banking and mortgages, the banking titans stuck to their hiring plans.
Goldman Sachs Inc was the first major bank to begin large layoffs this year, laying off over 3,000 employees in its largest round of layoffs since the 2008 financial crisis.
According to a source familiar with the matter, BNY Mellon plans to cut around 3% of its workforce this year.
Based on their fourth and third quarter figures, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley added over 100,000 jobs from the first quarter of 2020.
Wells Fargo defied the trend, cutting nearly 21,000 jobs during the same time period.
Since the start of the pandemic, Goldman has hired 10,600 people, including staff for Marcus, its consumer banking unit that was scaled back in October after losing money.
"It is a safe bet to say more banks might follow as banks struggle to make the math work from a bonus perspective and adjust to lower deal volumes," Natalie Machicao, vice president at executive search firm Sheffield Haworth in New York.
"Other banks are making cuts, with equity capital markets and leveraged finance more deeply affected than coverage or M&A," she said, noting that the trims were happening on an individual basis or smaller scale rather than a large reduction in force.
Goldman's cost-cutting measures reflect the firm's reliance on investment banking and trading, which accounted for approximately 65% of revenue in the third quarter of 2022, as the dealmaking drought eroded profits. In comparison, Morgan Stanley's comparable businesses accounted for 45% of its revenue during the same period.
Moody's director of economic research Dante DeAntonio stated that employment in finance and insurance plateaued in the fourth quarter and began to decline in December.
This masked a weaker trend in credit intermediation or banking, which has fallen modestly in the last six months after remaining flat for the majority of 2021 and early 2022, he said.
"We expect payrolls to remain flat to slightly down throughout this year with the most risk coming from the residential and commercial lending divisions within these institutions," DeAntonio said. "In some sense, the tide has already turned."