Fifth Third Bancorp has confirmed that it offered some of its employees buyouts to reduce costs.
The voluntary early-retirement offers were made to 775 of the Cincinnati company’s 18,500 employees, according to Fifth Third spokeswoman Laura Trujillo. Employees who did not take the offer will remain in their roles.
The buyout program was first reported by the Cincinnati Business Courier. Employees were sent an email notifying them of the offer on Jan. 4. The program has ended and most of the employees who accepted the offer left the company by March 31.
Fifth Third, which has assets of $138 billion, would not confirm how many employees took the offer. Trujillo noted that other companies had a 15% acceptance rate for such offers and said Fifth Third’s “results met our expectations.” Fifth Third offered transition assistance and job search coaching with NextJob to employees who accepted the offer. Trujillo confirmed that 40 people enrolled in the job-search program.
“This was about reducing costs, not people,” Trujillo said by email. “We believe it represented a good way for the bank to manage its costs effectively, while offering flexibility for individuals to move forward with their life plans.”
This is the first time Fifth Third has offered an employee buyout program. The company had set a goal of hiring 200 employees in technology-related positions by the end of the year.
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Corrected April 8, 2016 at 10:11AM: An earlier version of this article overstated the number of technology-related employees Fifth Third plans to hire by the end of 2016.