On Tuesday, CNBC reported that in an attempt to save $US3.2 million in unnecessary costs, the JP Morgan is eliminating voicemail.
Bankers need not fret (yet). The voicemail ban is only in effect for retail employees. And it isn’t like JP Morgan is going to cut voicemail out of its mobile phone plans.
But phasing out the direct-line voicemail is just one more step in the evolution of Wall Street, kind of like the disappearance of “fax” numbers from execs’ business cards.
Business Insider spoke with a number of investment banks, and a number of bankers themselves. Some, were mum on the matter. Bank of America declined to comment. This is what the others had to say.
- “I’m betting JPM has kicked off a lot of conversations across corporations this week,” says one bank representative, asking she and her bank not be quoted directly. However, the bank rep said, “depending on the division/role — doing away with [voicemail] could be a bad idea. I know some have mentioned that because everyone has a smartphone in their pocket… that landline [voicemail] is no longer necessary. But, maybe it’s not that simple.”
- “Once we depended on fax machines for everything,” another Wall Street pro pointed out. “It has probably outlived its usefulness.”
- In short, the second Wall Street pro said emails tend to be a go-to for pressing matters. Voicemail suggests to him “I can deal with this later.”
- “Asset managers are all about value-added content for their clients and I think you miss something not hearing a person’s voice [and] tone, and usually a voicemail offers context,” said one financial services pro who works at a listed company. “We get voicemails sent to our email so it’s easy to listen to them remotely.”
- One big bank is taking the latest move at the House of Dimon very seriously. “Citi is reviewing the usage of voice mail to potentially remove the service when it isn’t used or needed by employees,” according to a representative. “[I]n some roles or cultures, voicemail remains an expected way of doing business… In other areas, however, employees use other collaboration tools (email, IM) more effectively, thus making eliminating voice mail a common sense cost cutting measure.”