If the crisis didn't get you, the robots might.
Weak revenue and negative interest rates aren't the only reason European banks are cutting jobs. Technology is playing its part, too. With mobile banking, who needs to visit a bank teller?
On Monday, ING announced plans to eliminate almost 6,000 jobs and invest 800 million euros ($898 million) in its digital platforms. That brings the total cuts announced in the past year to about 50,000, according to Bloomberg data.
The Dutch lender won't be the last to ax employees. Banks in Britain and Spain are already pushing their digital offerings. Truculent labor unions may mean France's Societe Generale and BNP Paribas will take a little longer to prune their sprawling branch networks, but they will surely do so.
It's tough to guess how many more jobs will go across the industry, says Jonathan Tyce, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. But he reckons 10 percent isn't unreasonable, and that's before you consider what blockchain may do.
This chart, based on data compiled by Bloomberg, shows how far headcount in the industry has shrunk since 2008.
Some of the changes can be attributed to M&A: BNP acquired Fortis, while ING sold its insurance operations, for example. But the direction of travel is clear.
--With assistance from Gadfly's Edward Evans
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.
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