Chemical Bank cuts hundreds of jobs with downsizing - WNEM TV 5

Chemical Bank cuts hundreds of jobs with downsizing

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

A community is in shock as one of its largest employers announced it will be cutting hundreds of jobs, leaving many local folks in limbo.

While some of those jobs are leaving branches in Ohio, the majority will be disappearing from Chemical Banks here in Michigan without much notice.

“For those folks impacted by this, it’s devastating news,” said Jim Hop, a professor at Northwood University.

Hop has spent 13 years in the banking industry. His heart goes out to the employees affected by layoffs at Chemical Bank. The Michigan-based company is looking to downsize after its recent merger with Talmer Bank. Hop said he knows how those employees feel. He went through a merger during his time at Comerica Bank.

“We merged with manufactures back in the 90s,” Hop said. “I had to re-apply for my job, so that can be a difficult thing.”

A look inside the numbers reveals that Chemical Bank is laying off 230 employees. Across the board, those cuts affect 7 percent of the workforce. Twenty percent of those workers getting pink slips are in the Tri-Cities. Thirty-eight branches will close company-wide, resulting in $20 million in savings each year.

Officials with Chemical Bank declined TV5’s request for an on-camera interview, but a company spokesperson said over the phone that no final decisions have been made as to which of their branches will close yet. He also wanted customers who do their banking with Chemical Bank to know that if their branch is slated to close, they’ll know at least a month in advance.

“It’s always tough when our major employers in the community make decisions like this,” said Selina Tisdale, the Community Affairs Director for Midland.

Tisdale is optimistic that Chemical Bank will remain a fixture in Midland for years to come.

“We can only hope for the best that they’re making decisions that will make them a stronger community partner here locally,” Tisdale said.

On the other end, Hop thinks Chemical Bank is making a great business decision, but he knows it comes with a significant human cost.

“From a business perspective, it’s optimizing efficiency and giving return to the shareholder,” Hop said. “Sometimes those two things don’t always work out to the advantage of everyone involved and that’s difficult.”

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