by Tara Perkins
Scotiabank (NYSE:BNS) has quietly been working to reduce its head count, which now stands significantly below 68,000, having fallen by more than 1,000 in the past year.
The figures were disclosed along with the bank's fourth-quarter results Tuesday.
Prior to this year, Scotiabank's head count had risen significantly as a result of a number of acquisitions it made. At the end of 2007 it had about 58,000 employees and that grew to about 62,000 through 2008, and rose to 69,000 by the end of last year.
A spokeswoman for the bank says that its ongoing efforts to integrate its acquisitions as well as a review of its business priorities and desire to enhance its efficiency have led it to make some adjustments in overall staffing.
"In all cases we have sought to maintain employment wherever possible, not filling some positions or filling others within the organization, and have remained committed to maintaining our long history of treating all employees fairly and with respect," she said.