BMO Harris Bank cutting employees in restructuring

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The parent company of BMO Harris Bank is trimming about 4 percent of its workforce company-wide in a restructuring prompted partly by declining branch transactions.

The Bank of Montreal employs about 251 employees across 37 branches in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, according to an IBJ survey of local banks conducted in early May. If the job cuts were applied proportionally among the bank's roughly 46,000 employees, about 10 people would lose their jobs locally.

A BMO spokesman declined to comment on where the layoffs would take place.

The bank announced its restructuring when it reported second-quarter earnings last week, but Reuters, citing an internal bank memo to employees, pegged the figure at 4 percent. That's about 1,850 employees company-wide.

BMO is the fifth-largest local bank by deposits, according to the latest Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data, controlling 5.6 percent of the market share, with about $2.4 billion in deposits.

In an earnings call with analysts last week, BMO executives said over-the-counter branch transactions "are down double digits year-over-year and mobile usage up in similar fashion." Officials also said "it seems likely in the medium term that branch counts will be slightly down."

On the call, Chief Financial Officer Tom Flynn said: "At the moment, we're living through a period of accelerated change, given the role that technology is having in our business with our customers and how we operate the bank."


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