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]
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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]

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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]

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 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]