Banks Unveil Job Cuts, Relocations

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Bank of America gave Midwest job cut figures for its combination with LaSalle Bank. Also, Credit Suisse reportedly is cutting 150 mortgage-backed securities jobs, and U.S. Bank is moving its foreign-exchange desk from Minneapolis to Chicago.

Bank of America's pending purchase of LaSalle Bank from ABN AMRO will lead to about 2,500 layoffs in Illinois and 1,500 job cuts in Michigan, the second-largest U.S. bank announced this week.

Most of the reductions probably will affect retail branch staff, although the bank said that business lines and locations to be cut are being determined.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the bank merger sparked complaints from Chicago-area community groups and politicians including U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama. The 2,500 layoffs figure is far below the 4,000 Chicago banking job losses that community and worker advocates had predicted in a study released last month. Still, on Monday the two senators sent a letter to Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis expressing disappointment with the decision, according to the Tribune's story.

Separately, the Tribune reports that Chicago is about to gain an unspecified number of bank jobs in foreign exchange trading. U.S. Bank, a unit of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, said it's moving its wholesale foreign-exchange trading desk to Chicago from Minneapolis on Oct. 1.

And Wall Street is losing another 150 jobs in mortgage-backed securities, according to the New York Times' Dealbook blog. The locus of this latest fallout from the subprime mortgage meltdown is Credit Suisse.

Bloomberg News quotes a Credit Suisse spokesman confirming the bank has made "targeted reductions, primarily in the mortgage-backed securities business," citing "the current environment and outlook."

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