American Express to cut more than 4,000 jobs

Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:07pm EST
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By Avik Das

(Reuters) - American Express Co will cut more than 4,000 jobs this year, an executive said, after the credit card company also reported higher quarterly expenses and provisions for bad loans.

The planned redundancies, from a workforce of nearly 63,000, contributed to a $313 million pre-tax restructuring charge taken by the world's largest credit card issuer during the fourth quarter.

The company's shares fell 2.3 percent to $85.62 after the bell.

American Express, which in recent years has been reining in costs to counter sluggish revenue growth, said expenses rose 3.5 percent to $3.60 billion in the fourth quarter, driven mainly by marketing costs and salaries.

Total provisions for loan losses increased 21.5 percent to $582 million.

Another credit card issuer, Discover Financial Services Inc, reported a 33 percent drop in quarterly profit as it set aside more money to cover bad loans.

The job cuts announced by American Express will take place in the United States and abroad.

"The actions we are taking will impact over 4,000 people at a cost of $313 million in the quarter," Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said on a post-earnings conference call, referring to the planned job cuts.   Continued...

American Express and American Express corporate cards are pictured in Encinitas, California October 17, 2011.  REUTERS/Mike Blake