Top banks in Canada have decided to resume job cuts – which were suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic – to focus on reducing costs, Reuters reported.

At the online Scotiabank Financials Summit, the CEOs of Bank of Montreal (BOM) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) confirmed plans to resume their previously announced downsizing plans.

BOM CEO Darryl White said: “Expenses haven’t been the focus of investors over the last couple of quarters.

“But that momentum does matter, when you look to the torque on the other side when the sector has a little bit more opportunity to go on offense.”

BOM announced the retrenchment plans back in December 2019. White said that the bank postponed the job cuts mid-way in February, the report added.

Last month, BOM recommenced the restructuring programme. The lender expects the savings from the job cuts to keep expenses flat until 2021.

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CIBC, on the other hand, expects to complete its restructuring programme in this quarter.

CIBC CEO Victor Dodig anticipates expense growth of less than 5% in fiscal 2021.

To slash costs, other big banks in Canada are suspending investment plans which are not considered urgent, the Reuters report added.

Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter and TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani said that they are deferring investments in order to cut costs.

Masrani added that TD Bank is currently looking at opportunities to expand its footprint in the southeast US.

Moreover, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) CEO Dave McKay said it will continue investing in smaller ventures, instead of looking at larger acquisitions.

Recent job cuts

Last month, Co-op Bank decided to slash 350 jobs and shutter 18 branches, due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo resumed layoffs after the Covid-19 hiatus.

NatWest decided to slash nearly 500 retail banking jobs to cut costs in the wake of the pandemic.

British lender TSB decided to phase out cashier roles by next year, which could put hundreds of jobs at risk.