BofA cutting 16,000 jobs by year end in cost-plan acceleration: WSJ

Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:08am EDT

Pedestrians are reflected in the window as customers conduct transactions at a Bank of America ATM in Washington July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Pedestrians are reflected in the window as customers conduct transactions at a Bank of America ATM in Washington July 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is planning to cut 16,000 jobs by year end as it speeds up a company-wide cost-cutting initiative amid declining revenues, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The job cuts would put the second-largest U.S. bank a year ahead of schedule in eliminating 30,000 jobs under a program called Project New BAC. The job cuts could shrink the bank's workforce below that of rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N).

The reductions were outlined in a document given to top management, the Journal reported. Since taking the helm in 2010, Chief Executive Brian Moynihan has been working to streamline and reduce risk at a company that has lagged rivals in recovering from the financial crisis, largely due to mortgage-related losses.

Bank of America spokesman Larry Di Rita declined to comment. The bank had 275,460 employees at the end of the second quarter.

Under Project New BAC, Bank of America has said it planned to eliminate $5 billion in annual expenses and 30,000 jobs by the end of 2013, largely through cuts in consumer and technology areas. A second phase is expected to eliminate $3 billion in annual expenses by mid-2015 by making undisclosed cuts in capital markets, commercial banking and wealth management areas.

In the second quarter, cost savings from the first phase were running at an annual pace of $970 million, behind a goal of $1 billion, the Journal said, citing the document.

Bank of America is one of many financial companies slashing thousands of jobs amid new regulations and a tepid economy that are crimping revenue.

(Reporting By Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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