Banks facing cutthroat competition to hire and retain talent

Banks facing cutthroat competition to hire and retain talent

REUTERS Mike Segar Files File Photo

Jan 14 Reuters - Banks are facing cutthroat competition to hire and are forced to pay more to recruit and retain talent, with both Citigroup Inc C.N and JPMorgan Chase Co JPM.N saying they have to pay competitively for top people.

As the economy recovers and people look to shift around, the banks have to come up with perks like higher pay and bonuses to attract and retain talent.

The hiring process in the business has been very competitive, according to Mark Mason, Chief Financial Officer at Citigroup Inc. He said that's seen at entry levels as well.

Mason said there was some pressure on what one has to pay to attract talent. You've seen it at some of the lower levels, I should say entry levels in the organization. There was a lot of competitive pressure on wages, according to Mason, which included analysts or associate bankers. JPMorgan CFO Jeremy Barnum told reporters they were facing pressures.

There is a lot of labor inflation and it is important for us to attract and retain the best talent and pay competitively for performance, according to Barnum.

CEO Jamie Dimon said that the bank wants to be very competitive on pay and if that squeezes margins, so be it. Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said that hiring and retaining bankers was competitive.

Scharf said that we never want to lose good people. It is not something we worry about hurting the franchise at this point. It's a very competitive workplace, according to Scharf, and the bank's top leadership is not worried about the bankers who have left over recent months. We are very knowledgeable about the attrition happening at the company. We feel good about the people that are here and we are going to work hard to keep the people here. Wells expects to pay $300 million in expenses in 2022 for commissions and bonuses for workers in its wealth and investment management and investment banking businesses.

Personnel expenses fell by 2% at the bank, in part because the headcount declined 7% year over year.

The banks reported their earnings.