The Ripple Effect: How Bigger Banks’ Layoffs Impact Everyone

In the dynamic world of finance, bigger banks are constantly adapting to new challenges and opportunities. This adaptability often involves difficult decisions, including layoffs, that have a more significant impact than meets the eye. While these layoffs directly affect the individuals losing their jobs, the repercussions extend far beyond the workforce. One of the less obvious yet profound ways these changes impact everyone is through shifts in compensation structures, particularly bonuses. 

Layoffs in bigger banks are a clear indication of the industry’s transformation. Seeing this to be true with PNC, who plans to cut 2,400 employees in Q4, and Citi, who has let go of 2,000 positions in the past quarter (Ennis, Banking Dive). Whether due to restructuring, cost-cutting measures, or changes in market dynamics, these reductions in force often garner the headlines. While the employees directly affected by layoffs understandably feel the brunt of these changes, the ripple effect is not limited to them alone. 

The layoffs set in motion a series of chain reactions that eventually touch many others within the bank. These reverberations can result in changes to workloads, increased stress on remaining employees, and shifts in the overall work culture. Additionally, employees who were not directly affected by layoffs may witness a drop in morale, leading to decreased job satisfaction and productivity. 

One subtle yet substantial impact of layoffs in bigger banks is the alteration of compensation structures, particularly in the form of bonuses. As banks tighten their belts and aim to preserve capital, bonuses often bear the brunt of the cost-cutting measures. This directly affects the employees who rely on these bonuses as a significant part of their income. 

Employees who aren’t reliant on bonuses for their livelihood may feel the changes. A reduction in bonus payouts can lead to decreased motivation and job satisfaction, ultimately impacting their performance. It can also create an atmosphere of uncertainty and unease, as employees wonder if their bonuses will be next on the chopping block in the future. 

In this rapidly evolving financial landscape, change is inevitable. Bigger banks are under constant pressure to remain competitive, adapt to regulatory changes, and meet the ever-increasing demands of their clients. As they navigate these challenges, they must make strategic decisions to ensure their survival and success. 

However, it’s crucial for banks to be mindful of the broader impact of these decisions, particularly when it comes to layoffs and changes in compensation structures. Fostering a transparent and open dialogue with employees is essential in helping them understand the reasons behind these changes and their role in the bank’s overall strategy. 

While bigger banks may be the ones implementing layoffs, the effects reach far and wide. The alterations in compensation structures, particularly bonuses, can send shockwaves throughout the industry. As the industry continues to transform, it’s essential for banks to strike a balance between maintaining their competitiveness and ensuring their employees’ well-being in the process. This way, everyone, from top executives to entry-level employees, can adapt to the new normal in the world of finance. In times when super regional banks like PNC and Citi are undergoing workforce changes, community banks shine as vital pillars of stability and support within the financial sector. Community banks, deeply rooted in their local communities, provide an additional layer of resilience in the industry. Their commitment to the well-being of their employees, customers, and the communities they serve is a source of strength. During times of workforce adjustments at super regional banks, community banks often play a valuable role by offering employment opportunities and a more personal, customer-centric approach to banking. Their dedication to fostering relationships and trust underscores the importance of community-focused banking, serving as a reminder of the enduring value of localized financial institutions in our diverse banking landscape.

Ennis, D. (2023). “Citi shed 2,000 positions in Q3, but tech hires offset them.” Banking Dive. Retrieved from

Ennis, D. (2023). “PNC could cut more than 2,400 employees: report” Banking Dive. Retrieved from