Northern Trust plans job cuts

Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. will unveil early next year the details of cost-cutting plan that is likely to includes significant layoffs, according to a report by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Northern Trust chief executive officer Rick Waddell, speaking in New York Tuesday at an investor conference, did not tell analysts how deeply Chicago’s largest locally headquartered bank would cut, but said, “We’re going to give you more insight into this in the first quarter.”
Like other banks that specialize in trust services for institutions and wealthy individuals, Northern Trust faces significant revenue pressures due to ultra-low interest rates, Crain’s reported. The bank’s return on equity in the first half of 2011 was 8.8 percent, well off the 13  to 15 percent it produced in better times.
“I will be the first one to tell you that three years ago we thought the environment would be much better than it is today,” Waddell said. "We thought we would be in a growing economy, a much less volatile market environment, interest rates at significantly higher levels than they are, and we were wrong. And we now know that the interest rate environment that we’re in is going to be this way for at least two more years.”
Large banks around the country are planning major job cuts, the most visible of which is Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., which said earlier this week will eliminate 30,000 positions.
Northern Trust has a branch in downtown Milwaukee.

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