JPMorgan kills voicemail

JPMorgan will eliminate voicemail for its retail employees in an effort cut costs and save about $16 million a year.

The company's consumer banking chief told an industry conference the bank would be eliminating voicemail in an effort to cut costs. Each line costs about $10 per month, translating to savings of about $16 million a year if the service is eliminated for all 136,000 employees in that unit.

"We realize that hardly anyone uses voicemail anymore," said Gordon Smith, CEO of JPMorgan's consumer and community banking, while speaking to an audience at the Deutsche Bank financial services conference.

"We are all carrying something in our pockets that's going to get texts or email or a phone call to you," he said.

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The savings appear relatively small compared with the grand scheme of JPMorgan's ongoing cost-cutting efforts. A February investor presentation showed the consumer and community banking unit in 2014 cut some $2.2 billion in costs and 11,600 jobs. For 2015, it's targeting an additional $2 billion in expense cuts and, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter, some 5,000 jobs.

On Tuesday, Smith attributed the latest restructuring as "branch automation," which will see smarter ATMs and mobile apps replacing some functions previously done by bank tellers.

And for those tellers who do help you, be prepared to communicate with them by text or email. The days of leaving them a message after the tone are numbered.

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