Bloomberg News

Charles Schwab ( SCHW - Get Report) will cut about 600 jobs, or 3% of its staff, as it deals with lower interest rates, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CEO Walt Bettinger discussed the coming layoffs in a recent town hall with some employees, according to an attendee. The cuts are part of an effort to rein in costs as falling interest rates pinch profit at Schwab's banking arm, people familiar with the situation told the Journal.

"We initiated a process to review our expense base to ensure we remain well-positioned to serve clients while navigating an increasingly challenging economic environment," a Schwab spokeswoman told the Journal.

The Journal noted that another Schwab executive, in a separate meeting with employees, said the company hadn't expected the Federal Reserve to cut rates. The Fed trimmed rates in July and is widely expected to do so again when it meets next week.

The job cuts at Charles Schwab could come as soon as next week.

Schwab's banking arm, according to the Journal, is a big part of its business. It made up more than half the company's overall revenue of $10.13 billion last year, up from about a quarter in 2009.

The stock was down 0.95% to $41.55 in premarket trading Wednesday.