October 23, 2015 - 10:30 AM
TORONTO - Scotiabank is telling employees to get ready for certain offices across the country to close over the next two years as it digitizes a number of functions related to processing documents.
The bank says it will open two new hubs in the Toronto area with more advanced technology to handle those tasks.
Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) says it will be working with employees at affected offices in other Canadian cities — including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax — to try to find new jobs for them within the bank, where possible.
It will "provide other assistance as necessary" to employees who can't be reassigned, spokeswoman Diane Flanagan said in a telephone interview.
Flanagan was unable to specify how many roles will be affected and said the information meetings held on Thursday were just one stage of the preparations for making the changes.
The affected operations were initially built to serve a branch network that operated mostly with paper, performing functions such as processing documents related to opening new accounts and fulfilling loans.
"We really don't have a sense of what the job impacts are right now because, where possible, we're going to try and find other work for them," Flanagan said during a telephone interview Friday.
Globalnews.ca reported that nearly 400 people in Calgary were told about the downsizing plan and CBC said it was contacted by a Scotiabank employee who estimated 200 people in her region could be affected.
The bank says that by digitizing the documentation functions and consolidating those roles at the two new hubs, it will speed up processing and turnaround times for clients.
"As much as there may be impacts in some areas, and we recognize that's very difficult for those employees, we are continuing to grow in other areas," said Flanagan, noting that the bank plans to hire new staff to work at its "digital factory," which will launch next year.
The bank announced plans for the digital factory last week. The facility will house more than 350 tech jobs, including user experience designers and data scientists, as the bank strives to meet customers' evolving needs for digital services.
—With files from David Paddon.
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2015