Bonus/Layoffs Watch '16: Bank of America

They're both on the horizon but in a rare turn of events for BofA employees, things could actually be worse.
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As many of you know, one of the most offensive ways Wall Street banks stick it to their employees is by conducting a round of layoffs just prior to bonuses being distributed. Yet in an uncharacteristically human move, Bloomberg reports that all the people expected to be cut from Bank of America in the next month or so might actually get paid for last year's work.

Chief Operating Officer Thomas Montag, 59, is increasing pressure on deputies to lower expenses across his trading and investment banking world, according to people with knowledge of the initiative. While managers have latitude on how to trim the equivalent of a few percentage points off their budgets, the effort probably will lead to job cuts in March, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters...The cuts would probably occur weeks after Bank of America pays bonuses to traders and bankers in mid-February.

In related news, watch out for any lists your superior is making/checking twice.

Business heads are scouring for ways to reduce costs, pushing to negotiate lower vendor transaction fees, and cutting travel and entertainment budgets, the people said. Executives also are drafting initial lists of people they could terminate if needed.

BofA's Montag Said to Order Expense Savings in Trading Division [Bloomberg]

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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.