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Bank of America Layoffs Have Barely Begun (Update 1)

Bank of America story updated with additional comments from spokesman in last two paragraphs.

NEW YORK (TheStreet)--Bank of America (BAC) announced in September plans to eliminate 30,000 jobs over the next few years, but the bank's headcount is virtually unchanged from the end of 2009.

Bank of America had 282,000 full-time employees at the end of 2011, according to the latest official tally, published in its annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month.

That is down just 2,000 from the end of 2009 and 6,000 from the end of 2010. At the end of 2008, before Bank of America closed its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the bank had 243,000 employees.

Bank of America spokesman Jerry Dubrowski stated via email that the headcount numbers include "30,000 or so employees we hired in 2010/11 for mortgage-related servicing activities." He reiterated the "previously stated objective of reducing 30,000 positions through attrition, layoffs and other measures."

While Bank of America 10-K filings for years going back to at least 2007 included a breakdown of employees by division, the bank dispensed with those details in its latest report, offering nothing more than the firm-wide total.

"I'm not sure what additional value that provides, particularly as we all work together versus thinking about the businesses as silos," Dubrowski wrote.

Dubrowski further took exception to the notion that Bank of America's headcount is virtually unchanged since the end of 2009, pointing out the bank had 289,000 employees at the end of the third quarter last year.

"You compare employment to 2009 levels, before we announced the reduction plan. I even gave you the Q3 number in my email. Seems you ignore the facts and write what you want," wrote Dubrowski, complaining about a previous version of this story.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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