We would like to make it clear that, whilst we acknowledge there has been a recent slowdown in trading, Charles Schwab has not laid off any staff in either the UK or the US, as stated by George Pitcher (MW March 1).
On the contrary, it is part of the Charles Schwab culture worldwide that all possible measures should be taken to avoid laying off employees in such circumstances. Steps taken by the company have been confined solely to the US and include:
Salary reductions for senior management, ranging from five per cent for vice presidents up to 50 per cent for the company’s chief executives, Charles Schwab and Dave Pottruck.
A request that employees not involved in customer services volunteer to take three Fridays off as holiday within February and March 2001.
It has not been necessary to put any measures in place in the UK where we remain the number one nominee and online stockbroker. In the US, the steps have been taken in the hopes we can avoid laying off any employees. This belief is central to how we have maintained and developed the culture of Charles Schwab.
Senior vice president and head of commercial development
Charles Schwab Europe