BofA to Cut Up to 35,000 Jobs

The bank has not completed its analysis, and a final number will not be determined until early next year.
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Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

plans to eliminate a "significant" number of positions over the next three years as it works to integrate its acquisition of

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

and deal with the economic slump that's taking a toll on its businesses.

The Charlotte-based bank plans to cut roughly 30,000 to 35,000 workers, but said in a release Thursday that it has not completed its analysis. A final number will not be determined until early next year.

The reductions are "designed to eliminate redundancies created as a result of the merger" and to "reflect the current recessionary environment," BofA said in the release.

BofA agreed to purchase

Merrill Lynch

in September in a stock transaction worth roughly $50 billion at the time. The deal came just as investment house

Lehman Brothers

was filing for bankruptcy. Fearing that the same thing could happen to Merrill, CEO

John Thain

, who replaced disgraced former CEO Stan O'Neal in late 2007, quickly agreed to a transaction with BofA.

Shareholders of both companies

approved the deal

last week. The merger should be completed by Jan. 1.

At the end of the third quarter, BofA had about 247,000 full-time employees, according to its quarterly filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. Merrill Lynch had 60,900 at the end of September.

Thain, who was formerly the head of

NYSE Euronext

(NYX)

, is one executive who will continue on with BofA once the deal is completed. He will become head of the combined bank's Global Banking, Securities and Wealth Management businesses.