Layoffs Watch '11: Bank Of America Actually Cutting 30,013

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Earlier this month, Bank of America announced that it'd be laying off 30,000 employees, as part of a program designed to help the firm make/not lose money called Project New BAC. It's not that Brian Moynihan et al wanted to let these people go, but thanks to decisions by his predecessors including but not limited to funding Ken Lewis's Boone's of the Month Club and paying $4.1 billion to find out what it feels like to be violated by Angelo Mozilo, it'd become more than a little necessary. Lest there be any confusion, the 13 members of BAC's industrials group who were axed this afternoon did not fall under the "because we have to" but rather the "because we feel like it" category on Bri-Moy's master spreadsheet. Sayeth Bloomberg:

Bank of America dismissed 13 investment bankers in its industrials group, including managing directors David Iwan and Egan Antill, said two people with direct knowledge of the actions. Iwan and Antill left this month during a round of 3,500 reductions throughout the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, said the people, who declined to be named because personnel matters aren’t public. The cuts amount to about 5 percent of jobs in the group, one person said. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan is trimming staff as costs from soured mortgages rise and revenue shrinks amid the slowing U.S. economy. The industrial group cuts weren’t part of Moynihan’s broader cost-cutting plan known as Project New BAC, announced earlier this month, which will eliminate 30,000 jobs over the next few years, said one of the people.

[Bloomberg]

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Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

Project New BAC continues, only now that it's worked out some of the initial kinks, management is going to fire people a lot faster that before. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 52, is relying on expense cuts to improve profit as mortgage losses and regulation squeeze revenue. The earlier phase of his efficiency plan, called Project New BAC, targeted $5 billion in costs and 30,000 jobs...The lender had 275,460 employees at June 30, compared with 278,688 on March 31 and about 288,000 at the end of last year’s second quarter. The number of banking centers in the U.S. fell by 148 in the 12 months ended June 30 to 5,594...The new round of cost cuts will come at a faster rate than the first phase, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson said today on the call. The $3 billion in savings will probably be realized at about $1 billion per year, he said. Moynihan told employees in January that he expected Project New BAC to eliminate a total of $6 billion to $8 billion a year in expenses, Bloomberg News reported. The bank said today it’s on track to realize $1 billion of the cost savings from the first phase by the end of this year. [Bloomberg]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

In April 2010, Bank of America said ENOUGH. Enough with this losing of money business. We want to know what it's like to have a quarter in which we actually make a little-- wouldn't that be something? As this was a very lofty goal for the firm, the higher-ups knew they had to get serious-- really focus and hone in an on plan of action. First, they gave their new (money-making) mission a special codename: Project New BAC. Then, 44 executives "fanned out around the company to ask employees low- and high-level for ideas on how BofA [could]...reduce expenses." As we now know, what they came up with re: the reduction of expenses was that 30,000 people should be fired and over the last year, exactly that has happened. And even though a whole bunch of senior people have quit, which has helped the bottom line a bit, it hasn't been enough for meddlesome investors to put a sock in it re: "reining in expenses" and "profit outlook" in general. So, a couple things are going to happen: 1. A whole bunch of well-paid* bankers are going to be escorted out of the building and 2. In order to pick up the slack left, clusters of junior bankers are going to put in a van which will drop them off in whatever division needs them most at the time. The Charlotte, N.C., company is planning about 2,000 staff cuts in its investment banking, commercial banking and non-U.S. wealth-management units, said people familiar with the situation. Those operations were vastly expanded with Bank of America's 2009 purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. The reductions are significant because of whom they target: the high-earning employees whose efforts helped Merrill Lynch account for the bulk of Bank of America's profit since the financial crisis. The cuts come on top of a plan announced last year that will see Bank of America eliminate 30,000 jobs over three years in its consumer banking divisions...The No. 2 U.S. bank by assets already is facing a wave of high-profile defections in its institutional businesses, such as investment banking, amid Wall Street's annual post-bonus job-hopping season. The upheaval comes as investors are pressuring banks to rein in expenses without giving ground competitively. Despite a 46% rise this year, Bank of America shares have lost a third of their value in the past year, amid questions about the industry's profit outlook. Cutbacks aren't Bank of America's only response to surging costs. The bank is loath to cut too deeply in businesses, such as the fixed-income trading operation, that are showing improvement and highly competitive. One structural shift being planned will pool junior investment-banking employees across different industry sectors so the younger bankers can be routed to whatever area is most in demand at that moment, said people familiar with the situation. Proponents say that move will help younger workers gain more experience, while others say it will detract from the bank's service to clients. BofA To Cut From Elite Ranks [WSJ] *For BofA.

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

On the one hand, Brian Moynihan et al plan to cut staff next month, which hurts. On the other, they've been firing off warning signals that employees may want to explore their options elsewhere, so that's nice. "Ahead of expected cuts at the House of Moynihan in the Apr-May timeframe, a lot of juniors are being pulled into conference rooms and told it might be in their interest to "reach out and have a chat" with other groups. Reshuffling and reallocation are well underway. No rhyme or reason as far as we can tell regarding why some analysts and associates are being nudged and others aren't (some top bucketed guys got nudged, and some bottom feeders got nudged as well)."