Nationwide Is Slashing Jobs

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One of Ohio’s largest banks, Nationwide, announced Wednesday morning that it is cutting 1,100 jobs across the country, beginning with 350 cuts at its headquarters in Columbus and 80 in Des Moines, Iowa. The bank notified the 430 employees of the decision yesterday. The rest will be informed over the next several weeks.

At least the fired workers didn’t have to clean out their desks yesterday. They are getting four-months notice, a severance package and outplacement services, and they will be eligible to apply for other openings at the company. Currently there are 770 job openings at the bank, of which 320 are located in Columbus.

It’s never good news to be fired, but it could be worse. At least the 1,100 employees will have a job through the holidays, always a favorite time of the year for companies to announce job cuts.

Nationwide had said in May that its decision to leave the retail banking business would cost about 240 workers their jobs. The job cuts announced Tuesday include workers in IT, marketing, the bank’s property and casualty business, and its bank. In a statement, the company said, “We are making these changes from a position of strength and stability to position the organization for long-term success and growth.”

In August, Nationwide sold $3 billion in deposits to San Diego-based BofI Federal Bank. That sale affected some 100,000 Nationwide customers whose checking, savings and money market accounts were transferred to BofI.

In May, when the company announced its plan to leave retail banking behind, the bank issued a statement saying that to remain competitive in the retail sector it would have to scale up its investment. Nationwide chose instead to focus on its property and casualty insurance business and its retirement plan business.

Nationwide has invested in technology to accelerate automation in order to operate more efficiently by retiring old systems and moving to modern cloud-based ones.

The bank, founded in the late 1990s as a trust-only entity, was part of Nationwide’s pension (401(k)) business before converting to a full retail bank in 2006.