CIBC planning layoffs to cut costs

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

(Reuters) – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) will lay off employees in the months ahead to cut costs, a memo obtained by Reuters showed.

Chief executive Victor Dodig of Canada’s fifth-largest bank told staff on Thursday that CIBC needs to continue to be “a more efficient bank by focusing on continuous improvement and keeping a careful eye on costs.”

“As a result, some team members will be leaving our bank in the coming months.”

The move is expected to lower the bank’s non-interest expense ratio, which measures such expenses as a percentage of revenue.

Other Canadian lenders have also been taking on restructuring charges as they turn to controlling costs to drive earnings growth in what is expected to be a tough year.

During their fourth quarter results, Canada’s fourth-largest lender, Bank of Montreal, took a restructuring charge of C$357 million ($268.40 million), which also included some real-estate costs.

The bank cut about 810 jobs, and is targeting a total reduction of 5%, or about 2,300 employees.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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