JPMorgan Kills Voice Mail

The JP Morgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York.

The JP Morgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York.

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is eliminating voice mail for consumer-bank employees as part of a push by the biggest U.S. lender to trim $2 billion in annual expenses.

“We realized that hardly anyone uses voice mail anymore because we’re all carrying something in our pockets that’s going to get texts or e-mail or a phone call,” Gordon Smith, head of JPMorgan’s consumer and community bank, said Tuesday at a conference in New York. “So we started to cut those off.”

The lender, with 135,908 workers in its retail division, is reviewing ways to save money by cutting staff at branches and nudging customers to automated channels. Voice mail services cost $10 a month per line, Gordon said.

About 65 percent of employees with voice mail had it deactivated, for $3.2 million in annualized savings, said Michael Fusco, a JPMorgan spokesman. Some workers such as bank tellers didn’t have the service, and others who still need it such as branch managers, kept it, Fusco said.

Firms including Coca-Cola Co. have cut voice mail, which requires users to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time, because smartphones are ubiquitous and texting is now a routine form of communication.

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