The job cuts will bring down the number of the financial institution’s total number of employees to 260,000. This means the end of Bank of America’s position as the largest employer in the banking industry of the United States.
A report from the Wall Street Journal cited that Bank of America’s workforce reduction is part of its initiative for a leaner and more focused business under the Project New BAC. Its main objective is to increase its revenue from existing customers, and to become a major dealmaker worldwide, using the investment banking operation inherited from Merrill Lynch & Co., and reduce taking risky transactions. The implementation of the program was outlined in a document provided to the top management of the financial institution during the remaining months of the current year.
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Brian Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), accelerated in transforming the company’s operation to become more efficient since his assumption in his position in 2010. He removed many of the bank’s business segments that are nonessential in his point of view, including credit card units, private equity holdings, an insurance unit, and interests in overseas banks. He also encouraged investors in adjusting expenses to offset lost revenues, due to the implementation of new regulations.
Based on a document obtained by WSJ, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) plans to get rid of 30,000 jobs, and reduce annual expenses by $5 billion by the end of 2013, the first phase of its Project New BAC. A second phase in the program aims to eliminate $3 billion in annual expenses during the first six months of 2015, by implementing undisclosed cuts in capital markets, commercial banking, and wealth management areas.
According to the report, the first phase of the program will result in $970 million in annual expense reductions, lower than its $1 billion target.
Since September of last year, the company eliminated 23 percent of its junior investment bankers.
The WSJ cited that Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) would cut 5,300 consumer-banking jobs in the retail segment, and 3,200 jobs from its business segment handling new mortgages, according to a source familiar to the program outlined in the document. According to the report, more personnel reduction is expected in Bank of America’s business unit which is responsible for handling bad loans. Moynihan’s target is to reduce the number of total employees of that unit to 35,000. Bank of America also plans to close 200 branches this year.
Last Tuesday, Bank of America’s website suffered from a denial-of-service attack by a Muslim group, angered by the controversial film that mocked Islam and its prophet Muhammad.
Bank of America’s stock is down by one percent, to $9.19 per share during the mid-afternoon trading on Thursday at the NEW York Stock Exchange.