Make us your home page
Instagram

Bank of America is cutting 30,000 from work force

NEW YORK — Bank of America is slashing 30,000 jobs as part of an effort to reverse a crisis of confidence among investors. It's the largest single job reduction by a U.S. company this year.

What chief executive Brian Moynihan is trying to do is nothing less than save the nation's largest bank. Investors have cut the bank's market value by half this year. The bank is facing huge liabilities over soured mortgage investments and concerns over whether it has enough capital to withstand more financial shocks.

The cuts, which affect Bank of America's consumer businesses, represent 10 percent of the Charlotte, N.C., bank's work force. The bank said it hopes the cuts and other measures will result in $5 billion in annual savings by 2014. The bank has already cut 6,000 jobs this year. The bank also said it would look for cost savings at its other businesses in a six-month review that will begin next month.

"It's as if someone has hit the panic button," said Bert Ely, president of banking consultant Ely & Co.

Moynihan has been taking other steps to shore up the bank's standing. Last week, he shook up the bank's top management ranks and has been selling parts of the company to raise cash. Last month, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. invested $5 billion in the company.

Moynihan has struggled to calm investors ever since he took the top job in January 2010. He is reversing the empire-building strategy of his predecessor, Ken Lewis, who stepped down amid controversy over the purchase of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis. Lewis also engineered the ill-fated acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp., then the country's largest mortgage lender, which has led to heavy financial losses, lawsuits and regulatory probes.

Moynihan is now taking a knife to the company, hoping to shrink it to a more manageable size, even if it means losing the bragging rights of being the nation's largest bank. "We don't have to be the biggest company out there," said Moynihan.

Bank of America's stock has lost 48 percent this year, largely because of problems related to poorly written mortgages at Countrywide. From January to June, the bank paid $12.7 billion to settle claims from investors that it sold them securities backed by faulty mortgages.

Some investors and analysts worry that the job cuts will lead to poor customer service and the bank will lose market share to rivals at a time when there are signs that the economy is slowing down. They also wonder if the job cuts are enough to produce the profits the bank needs to overcome the spiraling costs from its mortgage business.

"There is a fair amount of skepticism on Wall Street, and (Moynihan) is doing as much as he can do in the face of a worsening economy," said Nancy Bush, an analyst and contributing editor at SNL Financial, a research firm.

The bank's stock was down for most of the afternoon, but rose along with the overall market to close up 7 cents, or 1 percent, at $7.05.

Bank of America is seen as one of the most bloated banks in the industry. The payroll cuts will bring its work force in line with some of its key rivals. JPMorgan Chase & Co. had 250,000 workers at the end of the second quarter.

The cuts are the largest by a U.S. employer this year, according to the outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Merck & Co. said this year it would cut 13,000 jobs.

Bank of America is cutting 30,000 from work force 09/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New town homes sprouting in Oldsmar

    Real Estate

    BY PIPER CASTILLO

    Times Staff Writer

    OLDSMAR — City officials have been chipping away for several years on a downtown development plan, bringing new life to a 7-acre site on State Street. One day in the not-far-off future, they want to lively streets and walkways used by residents and …

  2. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  5. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants the Constitu?tion Revision Commis?sion to ask voters to repeal the state’s system of partial financing of statewide elections.