CALGARY – Hundreds of jobs will be affected as Scotiabank announced plans to close several offices across the country Thursday.
“That means we are taking offices that were here [in Calgary], or maybe in Halifax, and moving them to one central location,” said director of corporate communications Sean Hamilton.
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Scotiabank said the process will take two years, and just under 400 people in Calgary were alerted of the plan Thursday. Processing centres in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Ottawa will all be moving to Toronto. Hamilton said that’s because 70 per cent of Scotiabank employees in the shared services group are already based there. He could not provide a total number of jobs affected across Canada.
“The goal is over that two-year time, people will make decisions, and say, ‘yeah I want to still work at the bank, please help me find a job’ or ‘you know what, I want to find a new job’ and we’ll help those people as well,” he said. “We’re hoping it will be less [than 400 in Calgary].”
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Calgary’s Lisa Morrison works in the lending department, and said she has worked with Scotiabank for 26 years.
“It looks like the centres here in Calgary are closing within two years, so that means all jobs are going to be phased out transitionally,” she said. “We’re being transitioned, centralized more or less in Ontario, so jobs may be created down there. Losing them here.”
Morrison said she has mixed emotions; she said she was told the plan is motivated by an aim to cut costs.
“We have people who have jobs from arranging mortgages, to helping business loans, to adjudicating credit,” said Hamilton. “We have people doing their job in one centre…and sometimes what we have happen is I start the application, send it to you, and that’s not efficient, so we want to bring those efficiencies in one area.”
Hamilton said the choice was not economy-driven.
“No, this is truly a business decision that the bank made. It’s really about efficiencies, finding savings so we can invest them into other areas.
“Any day like this is always tough; obviously there was a lot of disappointment from our employees.”
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With files from Jill Croteau
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that just under 400 people were notified Thursday in the city of Calgary, and that Scotiabank could not provide a national estimate of jobs that will be affected.