BofA expects to save $230 million per quarter on debt
(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) expects to reduce its long-term debt by about $40 billion in the second quarter, eliminating interest expense of $230 million per quarter going forward, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson said.
The bank has previously said it has $34 billion in debt maturing in the quarter. It also has taken steps to redeem subordinated debt, trust preferred securities and other securities.
"We will look to drive that debt footprint down," Thompson said Tuesday at an investor conference in New York.
Reducing interest payments is one way the second-largest U.S. bank can reduce its overall expenses, Thompson said. The bank is also in the middle of a broad cost-cutting program called Project New BAC and working to reduce expenses in its unit that works with troubled borrowers.
The bank plans to disclose more about the second phase of New BAC, which is focused on capital markets and wealth management operations, when the bank reports earnings in July, Thompson said. The bank is cutting 30,000 jobs in the first phase, which covered consumer and technology operations.
Thompson also said second-quarter trading volumes were a "little bit slower" than the first quarter, but "clearly much better" than what the bank experienced in the second half of last year, when concerns about Europe depressed markets.
Bank of America reported sales and trading revenue of $5.2 billion in the first quarter, down slightly from a year ago but up from $2 billion in the fourth quarter.
As for ongoing concerns in Europe, Thompson said the bank has reduced its exposure to the most troubled countries by about two-thirds from 2010 and is now spending time analyzing its counterparty risk with financial institutions outside the region.
"One of the most significant things you can do is just make sure you don't have any tree that's too tall - even if you think you've done hedging and everything else is right," he said.
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