Bank of America to Cut 16,000 Jobs by Year's End

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Bank of America will be speeding up its cost-cutting measures and will lay off 16,000 employees by the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal has obtained a "document given to top management" of the bank and is reporting that the layoffs are part of cost-cutting measures that will make the company "a leaner and more focused enterprise.

The document states that the plan is to "become a major deal maker around the world" by taking less risk, making more money from existing customers, and using an investment operation from Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired during the financial crisis in 2008. This all translates into fewer local branches and a shrunken mortgage operation.

The Wall Street Journal points out that these cuts will drop Bank of America from its position as the U.S. bank with the most employees. After the layoffs, the bank will have an estimated 260,000 employees - less than J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, or Wells Fargo, the report states.

Bank of America has faced the same financial difficulties that other banks have since the sub-prime mortgage loan crisis began. The company has implemented numerous cost-cutting and revenue-generating changes, including considering charging a fee for basic checking accounts. This has made the bank unpopular with banking customers, and it was the runner-up in The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" competition this year.

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