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Truist boosting minimum-wage pay to $22 an hour on Oct. 1; about 27% of workforce to benefit

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Truist Financial Corp. said about 14,000 employees, or about 27.4% of its workforce, will be getting a pay hike as part of increasing its minimum wage from a range of $15 to $18 an hour to $22. The pay raise goes into effective Oct. 1.

More than one-fourth of Truist Financial Corp.’s full-time workforce will be getting a raise on Oct. 1 when its hourly minimum wage is increased to $22, the bank said in a news release Wednesday.

The bank said about 14,000 employees, or about 27.4% of its 51,169 workforce as of March 31, would benefit from the minimum wage increase.

At $22 an hour, that is more than triple the national minimum wage of $7.25. It also will bump annualized salary for full-time employees to $45,760.

Truist’s minimum wage had been at $15 to $18 an hour since March 2020. That minimum wage was based foremost on geography and the size of individual markets.

For example, minimum wage in the Triad was $16 an hour “with adjustments based on experience.”

Bank spokesman Kyle Tarrance said the $22 minimum wage hike is “across the bank.”

Truist said the minimum wage increase will represent about $200 million annually in additional personnel costs, which chief financial officer Daryl Bible said would be offset "by lower turnover expense and improved execution and client experience."

The bank is based in Charlotte, but with about 3,800 employees in the Triad at last count.

About 81% of those getting an hourly wage hike are in “client-facing roles, primarily within its retail and small-business banking businesses.”

The bank said the pay hike “is the company’s latest investment in key talent across the organization and positions Truist among the highest in the industry for minimum wage as part of a comprehensive Total Rewards program for its teammates.”

Kimberly Moore-Wright, head of enterprise diversity, said the Total Rewards initiative also factors in “a robust wellness program, comprehensive benefits and an industry-leading 401(k) and pension program.”

“This critical investment in our teammates further rewards the positive impact they make to provide a distinctive client experience and deliver on our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities.”

Truist said its minimum wage and Total Rewards program are reviewed annually “to ensure Truist remains competitive across its markets and an employer of choice in the financial services industry.”

Truist eliminated 479 full-time equivalent jobs during the first quarter, leaving 51,169 full-time positions. The workforce is down by 2,038 year over year, or 3.8%.

Since BB&T completed its $33.4 billion purchase of SunTrust Banks Inc. in December 2019, the workforce is down 14%, or from 59,300 to 51,169.

During the first-quarter earnings call, Bible said voluntary retirement and separations would continue through the third quarter. Truist said remaining steps involve “teller platform migration” through the end of the year, and completing the shift from six to three data centers.

Cantey Alexander, Truist’s regional president for the Triad, said in December 2019 the bank had about 3,800 employees in the region, including operations in Forsyth County and the Triad Corporate Center complex in Greensboro near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

The bank has not provided a Triad workforce update since.

Other banks

Bank of America Corp. increased its minimum wage to $22 on June 30 as part of an accelerated initiative for a $25 hourly minimum wage by 2025.

Over the past four years, Bank of America raised the minimum hourly wage to: $15 in 2017; to $17 in 2019; to $20 in 2020; and $21 in 2021.

The bank announced in May 2021 that all of its U.S. vendors are required to pay their employees dedicated to the bank at or above $15 per hour.

Fifth Third Bancorp, based in Cincinnati but with a significant North Carolina presence, had a minimum wage increase from $18 to $20 go into effect Monday. The hike was announced in April.

The bank also will provide a wage adjustment for its first four job levels that are above the new minimum wage. In total, more than 40% of the bank’s workforce will receive a midyear compensation increase.

Fifth Third tied the minimum-wage increase to assisting employees “who are impacted disproportionately by rising costs of living,” said Tim Spence, who became chief executive Tuesday.

Although Fifth Third’s main N.C. presence is in the Charlotte and Triangle markets, it has a branch each in Banner Elk, Sparta and West Jefferson.

In November, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its minimum hourly wage from $15 to $18. The minimum increase affects PNC Bank employees in legacy markets and BBVA USA employees converting to PNC.

In March 2020, the minimum wage for Wells Fargo & Co. employees in the Triad and Charlotte was raised by $1 to $16 an hour.

At that time, Wells Fargo said some locations, such as New York and San Francisco, gaining up to a $5-an-hour raise to $20. The level of increase is based on various factors, including the cost of living in each market.

Wells Fargo said that minimum-wage hike affected more than 20,000 U.S.-based employees. It wasn’t immediately available how many that would be in the bank’s 2,900 local employees, as well as 3,600 in its 32-county Triad West region, and 25,100 in Charlotte.

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@rcraverWSJ

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