Pedestrians and advertisements can be seen reflected in the windows of a Bank of America branch in New York, October 8, 2008. [Agencies]
Bank of America Corp said on Thursday it plans to eliminate 30,000 to 35,000 jobs over three years after it completes its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co.
The cuts could affect about 11 percent of the combined companies' roughly 308,000-person workforce. Bank of America employs about 247,000 people and Merrill about 61,000.
Bank of America said the expected cuts reflect the pending merger, as well as "the weak economic environment, which is affecting the level of business activity."
It said the cuts will come from both companies and affect all business lines and staff units. Final numbers of cuts will not be determined until early 2009, and "as many reductions as possible" will come through attrition, the bank said.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank announced the cuts less than four weeks after Citigroup Inc set plans to eliminate 52,000 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, by early 2009.
Shareholders of Bank of America and Merrill approved the merger on December 5. The transaction valued Merrill at about $20.5 billion as of Thursday's close.
Bank of America shares closed Thursday down $1.78, or 10.7 percent, at $14.91, while Merrill shares fell $1.43, or 10.1 percent, to $12.67. The merger is expected to close on January 1, 2009, Bank of America said.
The combined company would be the largest US bank by assets.
(China Daily December 12, 2008)