JPMorgan Chase: Job cuts
JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, announced on Feb. 26 that it will eliminate as many as 19,000 jobs in its mortgage and community banking businesses by the end of next year. The lender, which currently employs about 259,000 people, wants to trim costs as the fallout from the mortgage crisis begins to fade. Analysts expect most of the mortgage staff cuts to come from servicing operations, which had expanded to deal with a flood of defaults. JPMorgan is the latest big bank to reduce expenses by culling employees. Citigroup (C) announced plans in December to eliminate 11,000 workers. Bank of America (BAC) said last year it would cut 30,000 jobs by 2015.
Cablevision: Joining the war against bundles
Pay-TV provider Cablevision (CVC) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Viacom (VIA) in federal court in Manhattan on Feb. 26 over the programmer’s bundling of networks. In a statement, the company said Viacom forces it to carry and pay for 14 “lesser-watched ancillary networks” by tying them to “must-have networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central.” Cablevision is trying to use antitrust law to force programmers to sell a la carte. Viacom says bundling helps consumer and that it will vigorously defend against the claims.
Sainsbury’s: No horse meat, more shoppers
U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s (SBRY:LN) was the only one of the country’s four biggest to gain market share in the past 12 weeks, according to figures from researcher Kantar Worldpanel. The data are the first to show how shoppers are reacting to horse meat showing up in products labeled as beef, a scandal that’s engulfed Europe since mid-January. Spending at Sainsbury’s, which said it didn’t find traces of horse meat in any of its products, rose 4.6 percent and its market share increased slightly, from 16.9 percent to 17 percent.
Rabobank: Facing hefty Libor fine
Rabobank, the second-biggest Dutch lender, will likely pay a fine of more than $440 million to global regulators for attempting to manipulate benchmark interest rates, according to people with knowledge of the probe. The bank is next in line to pay a penalty to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice, and the U.K. Financial Services Authority over claims of involvement in the Libor rigging scandal. Barclays (BCS), UBS (UBS), and RBS (RBS) have already been fined more than $2.5 billion.
Yahoo!: No more telecommuting
Yahoo! (YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is getting rid of work-from-home arrangements at the company. A memo sent to employees this month asked those currently working from home to make their way to the company’s offices by June. “To become the absolute best place to work,” the memo said, “communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.” Mayer, who last year became Yahoo’s fifth CEO in four years, is bucking the trend toward more workplace flexibility.