Comerica Inc. announced last week that it has eliminated about 250 jobs and closed 26 banking centers in Arizona, California, Michigan and Texas.
During its fourth-quarter earnings call on Jan. 19, Comerica noted a total of $25 million in severance charges, some of which stem from the branch closures. Phrased as “expense re-calibration initiatives,” the bank said the charges are expected to enhance earnings power and create capacity for strategic and risk management investments.
“As mentioned on our fourth quarter 2023/full year 2023 earnings call, we are taking steps to rationalize real estate; however, none of our banking centers in Dallas-Fort Worth are impacted,” a company spokesperson told The Dallas Morning News in an emailed statement.
“Additionally, we are streamlining our management structure and eliminating approximately 250 employees across the company nationally, including 28 colleagues (primarily non-customer facing) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We will continue to manage expenses closely, which will ultimately create capacity for investments that will benefit our customers,” the spokesperson added.
Comerica plans to reduce expenses by $45 million this year, with an additional $10 million in savings earmarked for 2025.
“We’ve tried to be thoughtful in terms of balancing the things that we believe are driving revenue for us and will drive revenue for us going forward,” CEO Curt Farmer said during a Jan. 19 call with analysts, noting that the financial services industry went through an inflection in 2023.
Those efforts, directed toward creating an even more sustainable business amid the pressure of current market conditions and interest rates, include investments in treasury management, capital markets, expansion into new markets and small business.
“We want to stay focused on those because we’re trying to really play the long game here and try to get beyond sort of the immediate environment that we’re operating in,” Farmer said.
Comerica’s focus on small business already has started to come to fruition in Dallas with the launch of Comerica BusinessHQ. The BusinessHQ, located in southeastern Dallas along R.L. Thornton Freeway, spans 8,000 square feet with member offerings that include work spaces, business boot camps and networking opportunities, among other amenities.
Further areas for expansion at Comerica include digitization and online capabilities, with CFO Jim Herzog on Friday’s call saying he thinks there may be areas in which the bank has underinvested historically.
“But I would also say that whether it be risk management framework or some of the product innovation, I just don’t think we necessarily always invested as much as we could have historically. And rather than trailing on that front, we’d rather be leading,” said Herzog.
“So we think the easier thing to do would be to hunker down and just starve the company, and that’s not something we want to do. So we feel like we’re doing the right thing, and we do feel like it’s going to pay off a positive operating leverage as we move forward,” Herzog continued.
Comerica’s continued investment in Dallas-Fort Worth includes the launch of a new business and innovation hub along Cowboys Way at The Star in Frisco, which officially opened its doors last month. The bank told The News that “selected colleagues have made the transition to the new office.”
The bank’s new corporate footprint was expected to house about 300 employees when it was first announced, with roles focused on digital and business innovation. At the time, the hub was also set to feature dedicated learning and interview centers for the bank’s human resources department.
Despite the job cuts, Comerica’s headcount grew from 7,488 employees to 7,701 year over year.