They’re all the more impressive when you realize that no new technology was required: Best of all, this project broke even in just six months. Here are some common tactics that banks, large and small, are utilizing in their efforts to improve operating efficiency: They were being processed in an ad-hoc fashion, with a variance in productivity routinely exceeding 70 percent. After the initial analysis and design phase of the assignment was complete, the implementation phase began. With so much of their money flowing out to vendors, it’s not surprising that many banks are looking to review or renegotiate outsourcing contracts. Remember: a million clients across 17 countries. Services. “The racks in our branches used to look like those racks at a beach or mountain vacation spot, with all these brochures stuffed in there,” Lindsey says. BAI is Bank Administration Institute and BAI Center, Cost-Cutting Tips for Revenue-Squeezed Bankers. HSBC, Goldman Sachs and UBS are all promising new strategies for the new decade. It’s another shocker that’s all too common in banking, and invites cost reduction. This addressed the conflicting information they had previously created for employees and customers alike. He estimates that these efforts will reduce existing costs by between 10% and 15% per year. Here are some common tactics that banks, large and small, are utilizing in their efforts to improve operating efficiency: Realigning branch staff. Faced with a slow-growth economy and shrinking revenues, bank managers are pulling the only lever they have left: expense control. With increasing airfare and hotel costs, banks are “hunkering down and taking a closer look at travel expenses,” says Jim Neckopulos, Dallas-based senior vice president and leader of the financial practice at Hitachi Consulting. Bank of America recently suffered from rumors about soup, crackers, and hand soap no longer being supplied to employees. Handsomely. Implementing these initiatives is expected to improve efficiency in the respective units by about 25% and reduce the bank’s total costs by 4%. Employee compensation accounts for about 44% of U.S. banks’ operating cost, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. in Charlotte both announced major cost-cutting initiatives this past spring (in March and April respectively) and others have followed in recent weeks. He points out that Extraco Banks, a Waco, Tex.-based community bank, was able to save $8,000 in paper costs last year, due to multiple initiatives such as imaging deposits at the teller line. In addition, some banks are opting to hire part-time employees instead of full-time in order to gain more flexibility in staffing models and to save on employee benefit costs. Cost cutting is a matter of commitment from the top management. For this initiative, retail branch support functions were analyzed for more than 500 employees across four different cities. Reviewing vendor contracts. BancorpSouth, for example, has “virtualized” many of its servers, Lindsey says, meaning that instead of using dedicated hardware, the company deploys generic shared hardware to more efficiently run specific areas of its operations. Refining and consolidating back office systems. This, in turn, helped them to focus their efforts on workforce performance and cost reduction in banking overall. ABN Amro Bank NV plans to cut about 2,800 jobs over four years as the Dutch lender retreats from large parts of its investment bank and digitization allows it to operate with a smaller staff. Published November 9, 2020 Updated November 9, 2020 . Impressively, nearly 90 percent of these improvements required no new technology investment. This bank’s Caribbean operations presented a tremendous improvement opportunity. Ms. Hoffman is a freelance writer based in Lawton, Okla. BAI © 2020 All rights reserved. Multiple retail branch forms and templates were standardized. Individual performance reporting was inconsistent. Moving to less expensive marketing channels. Randy Burchfield, who manages marketing for BancorpSouth, says that he uses video-conferencing every week for his regular meetings with the bank’s lead ad agency, which is based a five-hour drive away in Little Rock, Ark. Eliminating unnecessary document printing and electricity usage can save even a smaller bank thousands of dollars annually and can also help boost the bank’s reputation as environmentally friendly. Rather than looking to massive across-the-board cuts to boost returns, most financial companies are seeking to trim expenses selectively with an eye to keeping employees content, customers well-served and avoiding harm to client retention and sales growth. Ulster Bank had announced plans back in February to cut its costs, including a redundancy scheme for 100 managers as part of an earlier £250m group wide cost-cutting plan. Over the course of two months, more than 125 individual-improvement and cost-cutting opportunities were identified. In the wake of coronavirus lockdowns, the world’s largest investment banks presented a united front in refusing to cut jobs. They wanted to cut operational costs and improve efficiency and effectiveness in their back-office support groups. New tools and techniques were required to report on productivity, quality, service, and cost data. BancorpSouth has also reduced the number of its in-branch marketing materials, from more than 25 to about half a dozen. Deutsche Bank is gearing up to cut hundreds of jobs in its equities trading and research, as well as derivatives trading, as part of a cost-cutting drive, according to the Wall Street Journal. As the credit crisis gripped financial services a couple of years ago, cutting costs was the call to action at banks worldwide, and especially in the U.S. That meant a relentless pursuit of greater efficiency and a deeper understanding of where are the excess expenses and processes in … Employee operating costs were cut by 16 percent. “In other scenarios, we may consolidate on fewer systems to increase efficiency and consistency,” Dillon adds. Many are holding off on filling open positions (sometimes for months) as a way to free up some short-term expenditures without impacting morale, according to Paul Tomasofsky, president of Two Sparrows Consulting of Montvale, N.J. Fifth Third Bancorp is slashing costs, with plans to remove $200 million in expenses by early next year, including its recent decision to shed some jobs. So was the backlog. A few months on and cracks are beginning to show. The entire project broke even in just six months. Consider: Productivity shot up 30 percent. Deep Digitization in Utilities Operations. Cost cutting: A strength 1 Transform the way you cut costs The economic slow down is impacting the CEE region, prompting businesses to address a set of new challenges. NEW YORK. Blood-thirsty bank analysts are excitedly burnishing the sharp edges of their cost-cutting calculations. Cutting to spend on technology has been a thing for several years, but 2020 looks like the year it gets real lift. Since taking over as CEO in 2010, Moynihan has cut Bank of America's non-interest costs by $28 billion to just under $55 billion. Error rates dropped by an amazing 35 percent. BancorpSouth has just begun to test virtualization at the desktop for its retail staff, which Lindsey hopes will not only reduce hardware and support costs, but also extend the life of the systems. This was linked directly to the bank’s management team. They can also be enacted if … These were compounded by: These problems made themselves known in numerous KPIs, including processing cycle time, error rates, and backlog volumes. Redesigning the operating model for support functions and reducing the number of employees is expected to cut costs by about 15% (or 3% of the bank’s total costs). Much of the cost-cutting burden is falling on the bank’s staff. This is an absolutely true case study from the files of The Lab Consulting. Proven industry-leading practices were required to standardize NIGO fixes, streamline the workflow, and slash variance among teams. For institutions most affected by the crisis, particularly those in North America and the United Kingdom, tactical cost reductions are the immediate priority. Not surprisingly, the rate for this KPI (key performance indicator) was significantly higher than that of the bank’s competitors. Deutsche Bank counts cost of job cutting with £2.8bn loss. Goldman Sachs CFO confident bank can hit cost-cutting targets. Cost cutting measures are typically implemented during times of financial distress for a company or during economic downturns. Processing cycle time dropped by a third. Inside Wells Fargo's Plan to Cut $10 Billion in Expenses The bank will try to complete its ambitious plan while also trying to balance other initiatives. Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank circulated a memo noting that free fresh fruit will no longer be provided to employees, according to the FT. Bankers will now need to dip into their own wallet to stave off scurvy, it appears. This story took place at one of the largest consumer banks in the United States. While other banks are pushing the pause button on pre-Covid job cuts and digital transformation projects, Deutsche Bank is pressing ahead with plans laid down in 2019…and seizing the opportunity to make further costs savings from home working and video-conferencing. Think about that: Half of the applications received were not in good order. Bank … Thus management was poorly equipped to implement uniform routines across operational areas. In view of the depression in oil market, costs have been cut by most E&P companies and related services providers to levels no one would have imagined before. Although formal numbers have yet to be announced, the German lender may eliminate as many as 15,000 to 20,000 jobs, joining a growing list of global banks that have announced multiple jobs reduction rounds this year. Cost-cutting makes sense, industry observers said. Instead, banks are being careful about worker hiring, training and deployment. This cuts Information Technology as well as support costs, he says. Up to 2,200 job cuts likely at Bank of Ireland under cost-cutting plan Broker says bank likely to cut headcount by up to 20% Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 10:27 Updated: Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 18:12. Tomasofsky says that banks are asking for better terms and pricing on these contracts “even if they’re not up for renewal.” One tactic is to offer to extend the contract terms in order to sweeten the deal for the vendor. Dubai’s Mashreq Bank may move jobs to Pakistan as part of cost-cutting move The report added that Mashreq Bank will also cut a large number of … For help in making these important decisions, here's some insight into potential areas for cost cutting and ideas on how to think about each reduction. Numerous non-technology improvements were implemented to fix this problem. “Banks have to be cautious about unnecessarily making radical changes; they need to be able to remain agile and fluid,” says David Albertazzi, senior analyst for Boston-based Aite Group. The German lender’s latest cost-cutting measure signals the bank is willing to slash just about anything to save a few dollars. The results of this lean effort, implemented in concert with the bank’s management team and internal change-management organization, are incredible. And they wanted to improve the overall customer experience in the process. Tellers will print out 8.5×11 sheets with current product listings and rates at a customer’s request, so they are assured the information is up-to-date and there’s no waste of paper, he adds. The London-based bank, which is planning to cut 35,000 jobs to trim costs, is seeking to double the number of mobile users by 2022, which could generate more revenue per customer. HSBC bank will shift its physical services into the digital sphere in a push to get more customers to migrate to mobile as part of cost-cutting program. The German lender says it had already given notice to or "eliminated" 900 employees as part of a shake-up announced two weeks ago. You might want to learn more about The Lab’s unique self-funding engagement model and money-back guarantee. This website uses cookies and third party services. One way to avoid out-of-town travel is to utilize video- or audio-conferencing. Bank cost cutting: The final tally. Employee compensation accounts for about 44% of U.S. banks’ operating cost, Extraco Banks, a Waco, Tex.-based community bank, was able to save $8,000 in paper costs last year. Perhaps the story of your bank, tactfully disguised as this one was, might end up in these blogs, too. Copyright © Lab Consulting Partnership, 2021 | All rights reserved, Cut Banking Costs Now: Achieve “The New Normal” for Productivity “Big Rock” 1 of 3: The retail branch network, The Lab’s unique self-funding engagement model and money-back guarantee, Automate Paycheck Protection Program Loans, Lean Six Sigma Projects for Finance and Accounting, Robotic Process Automation in Credit Unions, Robotic Process Automation in Finance and Accounting, Robotic Process Automation in Financial Services, Robotic Process Automation in Health Insurance, Robotic Process Automation in Investment and Asset Management, Robotic Process Automation Insurance Claims, what are retail banks doing to control costs and improve efficiency. In some cases, a paperless initiative in the back office can lead to reducing the use of paper through delivery channels as well, Meara says. They wanted to cut operational costs and improve efficiency and effectiveness in their back-office support groups. The French bank said the jobs would go as it looks to strip out around €450m within its capital markets unit by 2023. “Business as usual” within this bank included multiple back-office support functions which created positions dedicated solely to rework. Ineffective processes permeated the bank’s back-office operations. ➤Incorporating nonfinancial services is a way for fintechs to counterattack big techs' foray into finance. These provide clients with a number San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. in Charlotte both announced major cost-cutting initiatives this past spring (in March and April respectively) and others have followed in recent weeks. Davidson. In this bank, operating metrics were not consistently collected, employed, or understood. While RBS is priming its people for what the Financial Times describes as, ' a fresh strategy and cost-cutting plan in the new year,' other banks are doing the same and jettisoning ballast as they go. Deutsche Bank has expanded its cost-cutting plans with its CFO saying a previous target of bringing expenses down to €21bn by 2021 was not ambitious enough.. Since opening its doors in 1993, The Lab has helped some of the best companies in the world become even better. But those NIGO applications were still a problem. Reducing internal use of paper and electricity. In this one, we’re going to dive into a cost-cutting case study with big results—and great takeaways for you. Bob Meara, senior analyst for Boston’s Celent, part of the Oliver Wyman Group, says that more banks are using teller management software to help them staff their branches more effectively, based on when customers are most likely to come in and what they need at various times. A united front in refusing to cut jobs travel with video conferencing to standardize NIGO fixes streamline... Out-Of-Town travel is to utilize video- or audio-conferencing sense, industry observers said cutting is a way fintechs. 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