PNC Financial Services Group will close a call center in Columbus, Ohio, and allow most of the employees stationed there to work from home.
The $368 billion-asset PNC offered the work-from-home option to about 350 workers assigned to the Ohio call center and about 250 accepted, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Friday. A PNC spokeswoman confirmed the facility’s closing and the work-from-home option but declined to identify the number of employees affected. The facility will close later this year.
All call center employees in Ohio who will work from home “will be recruited virtually, trained virtually and work virtually,” PNC spokeswoman Amy Vargo said in an email Monday. “Previously, we’ve had call center employees and teams who were recruited through traditional channels, trained at a PNC facility and typically worked in a PNC facility before transitioning to a work-from-home situation.”
PNC notified Ohio state labor officials on July 2 of its plan to close the call center.
PNC also operates call centers in Pittsburgh (its headquarters city) and Kalamazoo, Mich., and the bank has no plans to close or change the staffing at those facilities, Vargo said.
PNC's move is part of a broader transformation of call centers and operations centers to handle more complex tasks. Banks are moving call centers and operations centers out of expensive markets and into cheaper real estate as part of broader expense-cutting initiatives. Banks are staffing these facilities with more workers who have tech experience and reducing the number of front-line workers who handle routine transactions.
PNC and other banks have made large investments in call-center software and raised the professional requirements for employees who work there, sometimes moving loan officers and managers out of branch locations and into call centers.