100,000 Fewer Bank Jobs Seen

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

In one of the most pessimistic employment projections yet for banks, a major consulting firm is predicting that the industry will cut 100,000 jobs in 1992 alone.

The study, which represents a loss of nearly 7% of the industry's work force, was done by an affiliate of the Towers Perrin consulting firm. The conclusions were based on such factors as the continuation of bank mergers, the cutting of operations at banks and the use of contractors for operations that had been done in-house.

The Towers Perrin predictions are more pessimistic than others.

A study earlier this year compiled by Andersen Consulting, for example, predicted that about 250,000 jobs over all of the 1990s, including about 60,000 in California, would be lost. About 1.5 million people are employed nationwide in banking now.

No estimates on job losses were provided for California, although the cut in positions is expected to be especially acute.

One reason is an expected flurry of mergers, such as BankAmerica Corp.'s acquisition of Security Pacific. That merger alone is expected to result in the loss of 10,000 to 20,000 jobs.

In addition, California banks are increasingly moving operations such as credit-card processing centers to states such as Arizona, where costs are lower.

The study predicted that half of the job cuts will be in the teller and administrative areas, with the rest technical specialists and mid-level managers. Separately, the study predicted, without naming names, that a major money-center bank would stumble "badly."

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