Desjardins complex

Desjardins Group says it is cutting close to 400 jobs as it responds to economic uncertainty.

The financial services co-operative says heightened volatility, inflation and the potential for an economic slowdown have added pressure to the need for prudent management.

Spokesman Jean-Benoit Turcotti says in a statement that Desjardins is also still working to recoup the benefits of its “massive investments” in recent years, particularly in technology, and so it needs to step up the pace on these efforts.

Turcotti told Investment Executive that the affected employees “are spread mainly between our Montreal and LĂ©vis offices, [and are] mostly professionals to support branches in Quebec.”

He added that advisors with Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network are independent advisors, not employees, so they were unaffected by the cuts. Neither were the network support teams for those advisors.

The layoffs at Desjardins, amounting to about 0.6% of its workforce, come a day after Scotiabank said it would cut about 3% of its global workforce, which works out to about 2,700 staff.

The bank said the cuts are the result of digitization and automation, as well as its streamlining efforts and shifting consumer preferences.

Other banks have also been trimming staff in recent months after a major hiring push during the pandemic.