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PITTSBURGH – PNC Bank on Monday became the latest U.S. financial institution to announce a minimum wage boost, as recruitment and retention battles escalate across the sector.

Pittsburgh-based PNC plans to raise its minimum hourly wage by 20% from $15 to $18, beginning Nov. 22, Pittsburgh Business Times reported.

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Meanwhile, higher-paid workers will also receive a pay bump, described by Bill Demchak, chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. as an “accordion effect” across all branches, ABC News reported.

The wage increase will apply to both PNC employees and hose working for BBVA USA, the acquisition of which PNC closed in June with full conversion slated for completion in October, according to Pittsburgh Business Times.

“PNC’s success is dependent on the well-being of our employees, so it’s critical that we continue to offer a total rewards package that includes competitive benefits and pay, reflecting our long-term commitment to their well-being,” Vicki Henn, PNC executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said in a prepared statement.

The increase is expected to be more substantial for absorbed BBVA employees, who had an $11 minimum wage before PNC bought the bank. All told, some 20,000 PNC and BBVA employees will be bumped to $18 per hour, ABC News reported.

“We want the best we can find, and we can afford to do so,” Demchak told the network, adding, “We need to show that we can provide both a career path as well as compensation that makes us a lifetime opportunity.”

Earlier this year, Bank of America announced that it plans to increase its minimum wage to $25 by 2025, after already committing in 2020 to paying all employees at least $20 an hour. Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are currently paying up to $20 an hour, depending on the employee’s location, ABC News reported.

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