Bank of America to slash jobs
Irish staff dealt further blow four days after announcement of MBNA closure
Published 20/08/2011 | 05:00
STAFF at Bank of America's Irish offices were dealt another blow yesterday after the bank said it will cut thousands of jobs globally before the end of next month, with plans for more losses to follow.
Only four days after the bank announced its plans to exit the MBNA UK & Ireland credit card business, putting nearly 1,000 Irish jobs in jeopardy, it said it would cut 3,500 staff worldwide before the end of September.
Reports from the US say, however, that up to 10,000 employees will be let go eventually. That is about 3.5pc of the company's global workforce. The cuts will be across the entire bank, including key areas for the Irish business.
The North Carolina-based lender employs close to 900 people in Ireland outside of MBNA. The majority of those are based at a facility in Leopardstown in Dublin while the multinational has a smaller office off Harcourt Street in the capital's centre.
The news that more Bank of America jobs are in danger comes at the end of a tough week for Irish staff -- who apparently only found out the MBNA business in Carrick-on-Shannon was for sale when concerned family members in the US told them of company chief executive Brian Moynihan's public statement on Monday.
The Government now faces a race against time to secure the jobs in Co Leitrim, with the IDA lobbying to find a buyer.
In a memo to senior management leaked to 'The Wall Street Journal, Mr Moynihan said the bank would cut staff between July and the end of September.
"In addition (to the MBNA exit) you are most likely hearing about ongoing position reductions taking place across the company. There will be about 3,500 reductions in the third quarter. Notifications to the affected individuals have begun," Mr Moynihan said.
The memo makes clear that these layoffs are in addition to the sale of MBNA in the UK and Ireland.
The major Wall Street banks as a rule do not formally announce when they are "reducing headcount" but it is highly likely the Irish operation will see job losses.
A spokesman for the firm last night echoed Mr Moynihan's comments and added that "the company regularly assesses the efficiency of its businesses and at times makes adjustments to meet the opportunities in the marketplace.
"As part of that ongoing work, the company is eliminating around 3,500 positions across most of the lines of business this quarter."
Bank of America has been struggling for some time as Mr Moynihan tries to "rightsize" the business and deal with tighter US regulations.
The bank's share price has tumbled some 47pc this year while the firm recorded a net loss of $8.8bn (€6.1bn) between April and the end of July.
Meanwhile, a German bank has said it will close its Irish subsidiary, with the loss of up to 30 jobs. Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW) will close its Dublin-based LBBW Asset Management (Ireland) unit by the end of the year.
The move is "the latest in accordance with its restructuring plan", said a spokesman. LBBW had said in October 2009 that it would either sell or close down its Ireland arm.