American Express (Amex) has cut an estimated 5,400 jobs, predominantly in its travel business area. The company has explained this sector has been "fundamentally reinvented" by the digital revolution.

Amex stated that those made redundant would be spread across seniority levels and staff groups. They would also be spread proportionately between the US and international markets and primarily involve positions that do not directly generate revenue. The New York headquartered firm revealed that there would be changes within its customer service organisation in an effort to increase efficiency, as customers and merchants interact with Amex online and through mobile alternatives.

Kenneth Chenault, American Express’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: "Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth. The overall restructuring program will put us in a better position as we seek to deliver strong results for shareholders and to maintain marketing and promotion investments at about 9 percent of revenues."

The news came as part of the unexpected early release of the company’s fourth quarter results, which includes a USD400m operating charge – USD287m after tax – related to the staff cut backs.

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