Profit Drops Push Canadian Banks to Cut Staff

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Big Canadian banks shed 4,000 jobs between the first and second quarters of this year amid declining profits. Here's how the cuts stacked up, according to Bloomberg:

Royal Bank of Canada cut 1,109 jobs, or 1.5 percent of total staff. "We have a lot of attrition in our Canadian banking roles and a lot of part-time staff," Royal Bank Head of Strategy, Treasury and Corporate Services Barbara Stymiest told the news service. Senior employees, including four market presidents, also got the ax.

b>Scotiabank cut 1,753 jobs, or 2.5 percent of total staff. Consumer lending staff layoffs in Chile and Costa Rica were planned while Canadian staff were laid off due to market changes, spokesman Frank Switzer told Bloomberg.

Toronto-Dominion Bank cut 182 jobs, leaving 32,442 total staff.

Bank of Montreal cut 1,100 jobs, or 3 percent of total staff.

The cuts end a hiring trend among Canadian lenders. Royal Bank and Scotiabank added over 20,000 employees in the past two years, some via acquisitions, Bloomberg says.

Job losses in the Canadian banking sector are small compared to those in the U.S., where Bank of America has shed over 46,000 employees in the past two years, while Citigroup shaved away 10 percent of its staff.

Toronto recruiter Bill Vlaad, president of Vlaad and Co., told Bloomberg that hiring is picking up. "The banks have felt, from our perspective, that they've hit a low from the end of the quarter, and have started to build up from that," Vlaad said. "There's some hiring going on."

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