Bank Of America Hoping To Fire Thousands Of Employees In Record Time

Remember Project New BAC, i.e. Bank of America's plan to transform itself from Ken Lewis's house of fun, where everyone went home happy but the concept of making money was less of a focus than keeping the good times coming, to an institution that did things like post profits? The bank has said previously that PNBAC "will result in $8 billion in annual savings by 2015—$5 billion from the first phase and $3 billion from a second phase" and while it stands by those figures and remains committed to cutting as many employees as it takes, some people would like them to be a bit snappier about it. Bank of America is accelerating a broad cost-cutting plan and has set a target of shedding 16,000 jobs by year's end—cuts that would see the company relinquish its title as U.S. banking's largest employer. The proposed year-end total of 260,000 would be the lowest count since 2008 and likely give Bank of America a smaller workforce than JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, or Wells Fargo...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is trying to speed the company's transformation into a smaller and more efficient operation as he tries to persuade investors that expenses can be adjusted to compensate for revenue lost to new regulations, an uneven economy and shaky markets. Since becoming CEO in 2010, he has shifted away from a nationwide expansion strategy embraced by his predecessors Hugh L. McColl Jr. and Kenneth D. Lewis, and shed many of the businesses that he considers to be nonessential...Hitting the new staffing target would fulfill a year early Mr. Moynihan's pledge to slash the bank's workforce by approximately 30,000. "If they want to make any headway toward improving profitability," said Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. senior banking analyst Todd Hagerman, "they need to accelerate the timeline." Bank Of America Ramps Up Job Cuts [WSJ]
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Remember Project New BAC, i.e. Bank of America's plan to transform itself from Ken Lewis's house of fun, where everyone went home happy but the concept of making money was less of a focus than keeping the good times coming, to an institution that did things like post profits? The bank has said previously that PNBAC "will result in $8 billion in annual savings by 2015—$5 billion from the first phase and $3 billion from a second phase" and while it stands by those figures and remains committed to cutting as many employees as it takes, some people would like them to be a bit snappier about it.

Bank of America is accelerating a broad cost-cutting plan and has set a target of shedding 16,000 jobs by year's end—cuts that would see the company relinquish its title as U.S. banking's largest employer. The proposed year-end total of 260,000 would be the lowest count since 2008 and likely give Bank of America a smaller workforce than JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, or Wells Fargo...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is trying to speed the company's transformation into a smaller and more efficient operation as he tries to persuade investors that expenses can be adjusted to compensate for revenue lost to new regulations, an uneven economy and shaky markets. Since becoming CEO in 2010, he has shifted away from a nationwide expansion strategy embraced by his predecessors Hugh L. McColl Jr. and Kenneth D. Lewis, and shed many of the businesses that he considers to be nonessential...Hitting the new staffing target would fulfill a year early Mr. Moynihan's pledge to slash the bank's workforce by approximately 30,000. "If they want to make any headway toward improving profitability," said Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. senior banking analyst Todd Hagerman, "they need to accelerate the timeline."

Can they do it? Stay tuned!

Bank Of America Ramps Up Job Cuts [WSJ]

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Layoffs Watch '12: Brian Moynihan Wasn't Joking About Cutting Thousands Of Employees

Would've been quite the gag but no, he was serious, in case there was a question in anyone's mind. Wall Street workers got another warning shot across the bow as the nation’s biggest banks gear up to report third-quarter results beginning today. Bank of America chief Brian Moynihan yesterday said that he planned to make good on a springtime plan to cut a whopping 30,000 workers from the sprawling Charlotte, NC-based bank’s work force. “As we continue to get through the mortgage issues at Countrywide, you’ll see the head count come down substantially,” Moynihan told Bloomberg Television. Moynihan has been struggling to put the lumbering bank on a diet and shed nonessential businesses and workers in an effort to reverse the course embarked upon by his predecessor, Ken Lewis. The former CEO hastily gobbled up mortgage giant Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis. In a plan dubbed “New BAC,” Moynihan’s pink-slip program will trim 10 percent from its work force of 275,000. [NYP]

Bank Of America To Fire A Bunch Of Employees Just For Fun

Actually, we don't know several dozen employees in  the bank's global markets unit in Asia are going to be fired, only that these cuts are not part of Project New BAC (the company's plan to save $8 billion by laying off 40,000), so "just for fun" is one possibility. Bank of America plans to cut about 40 jobs at its global markets unit in Asia, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The reductions aren’t part of the Project New BAC program announced last year to pare expenses, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential and declined to provide additional details. Shirley Wong, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, declined to comment. [Bloomberg]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

...needs a few more years to get through its "cost-cutting initiative." Head count dropped by 3,000 from last quarter, the bank said today. Bank of America this quarter entered the second phase of "Project New BAC," its companywide cost-cutting initiative, targeting a $5 billion reduction in spending by the bank by the end of 2014. Some of that will come from job cuts, the bank has said, as it plans to reduce the number of positions at the bank by 30,000 over the next three years...The current phase of New BAC will be focused on saving money in its commercial banking, global wealth and investment management, world-wide corporate banking, global markets and some support functions. The spokesman could not confirm that future reductions will be limited only in these businesses, as "some of the ideas that came from Phase 1 will take a number of years to implement." [FINS]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America Australia

The House of Moynihan has said goodbye to a bunch of employees down under. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has begun a new round of job cuts in Australia, a person familiar with the matter told Deal Journal Australia, becoming the latest investment bank to cut costs amid light deal flow and sluggish equity markets due to the stuttering global economic recovery. Fewer than 10 staff from the bank’s equities sales and trading division have been let go, the person said, without elaborating further. Bank of America Merrill Lynch Cuts Staff in Australia [Deal Journal]

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]