CIBC shares fall as boycott bites

By Amy Chen
CIBC’s shares fell by nearly a percentage point wiping $400 million off the bank’s market value today as more angry customers ditched the financial institution in protest over its decision to fire 130 Canadian workers and force them to train their replacements from India.

The CIBC (TSE: CM) stocks closed the day at $114.82, more than a dollar down from the previous close.

The fall in share prices comes on the eve of CIBC’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Thursday in Ottawa.

Customers continued to abandon CIBC while publicly denouncing the bank and its CEO Victor Dodig.

“You know if you outsourced the CEO position to India the savings would be enormous, considering he makes more than the 130 Canadian employees combined,” ‎Greg Kemball‎ of Victoria, BC wrote. “Now that your stock is starting to plummet maybe the board of directors could oust this anti Canadian? Food for thought.”

“Very disappointed with CIBC’s lack of ethics and focus only on profits,” Mel Every of Orillia, Ontario wrote on CIBC Facebook page. “As a protest, I will be moving out my all my accounts. Already cancelled my Aeroplan Gold card. Have been a customer for over 20 years…time to go.”

“Closing my accounts today with CIBC,” Will Macdonald of Duncan, BC, wrote. “Moving 130 Jobs offshore seems minor in the grand scheme of things. But that’s 130 people out of work.
No thanks. I’ll bank with a local credit union.”

“Been with your bank for a couple years now, pretty good bank,” Brad Christie of Surrey, BC, wrote. “But I will not stand for a Canadian company outsourcing work to other countries to save some money. You are losing another customer. Record profits and you have to cut costs?? How about share the wealth with your employees? You expect loyalty right?

The offshoring of jobs to India is a part of CEO Dodig promise to cut $600-million in costs and drive profit growth to 10 per cent a year by 2018.

Dodig defended the outsourcing saying that “Companies that stand still don’t stand the test of time.”

CIBC made $1.4 billion profit last quarter, while Dodig earned an estimated $8.5 million last year, an increase of 40% from the year before.