Magazine article American Banker

Bank of Boston Paring Hours of Retail Staff to Cut Costs

Magazine article American Banker

Bank of Boston Paring Hours of Retail Staff to Cut Costs

Article excerpt

Bank of Boston Will shift at least 300 full-time retail employees to part-time status by June, in an effort to cut costs and match staffing to customer demand.

The $40.4 billion-asset bank started testing new work schedules at nine branches in Connecticut and Massachusetts in the past month.

"We want to move 14% of employees to part-time status, but we think that number could be significantly higher," said Thomas J. Hollister, senior vice president and director of retail and small business banking.

About 14% of the bank's 2,200 retail employees work part time - defined as at least 20 and less than 40 hours per week. But by June, at least 25%, or 550 employees, will work part time.

Similar Plan Caused Stir

Bank America Corp. created an uproar among its retail employees a year ago when the bank's plan to shift staff from full-time to part-time status was reported in the press.

More than 80% of BankAmerica's branch employees work on an hourly or part-time basis.

Bank of Boston says it has avoided BankAmerica's communication problem: Employees themselves participated in the process of identifying inefficiencies, and have known of the plan for some months.

Bank of Boston, like other New England banks, is under pressure to improve its efficiency ratio, which represents the percentage of every dollar of revenue that goes to expenses. Bank of Boston has said it will reduce that ratio from 63% to 60% by the end of 1995.

Other Cutback Programs

Both Providence, R. …

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