It may come as small consolation for those who have suffered through layoffs at a commercial banking institution.

But commercial banks and financial services companies are kinder to their departing workers than most other industries, according to a study.

A survey of 460 U.S. companies nationwide by Manchester Partners International, a human resources consulting firm, showed that companies that handle money were among the leaders in the size of severance packages, as well as in outplacement benefits and insurance.

The banking and financial services industry, which includes commercial banks, brokerage houses, securities firms, and mortgage companies, gave senior-level executives up to 47 weeks of pay, while front-line employees received up to 36 weeks.

Still, these companies were no match for the chemical industry, which gave all levels of displaced employees the largest maximum severance payments - about 60 weeks for officers and senior-level executives, and 48 weeks for front-line employees.

Banking and financial services companies were also among the leaders in doling out outplacement benefits and health insurance. 84% of the financial institutions surveyed provided outplacement benefits to senior-level executives, while 60% provided health insurance.

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