Bank of America is Gearing Up for Another Round of Layoffs Including Some Highly Paid Risk Professionals

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It was recently noted that Bank of America’s 30,000 layoffs have barely begun. By the end of 2011, the bank had eliminated only 6,000 people.

Things are about to change. Especially at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In yesterday’s presentation at the Citi Financial Services Conference, Brian Moynihan said BofA laid off another 1,000 people in January and February and that further cuts are fast approaching.

Moynihan said the bank evaluated who it wants to get rid of in phase two of its cost cutting at the end of 2011 and that it will be getting rid of them in “spring 2012.” Technically, spring 2012 starts on March 20th. Moynihan suggested that the cuts are likely to be brutally swift and "faster" than the protracted trimming of phase one.

Who will be affected? As ever, IT and infrastructure staff appear most at risk. Last year, Bank of America announced plans to rationalize its trading systems. However, headhunters say fixed income traders are also fearful for their jobs. For example, Bank of America’s trading businesses underperformed in almost every area in EMEA last year according to Tricumen. This does not augur well for job security.

Risk professionals – not as hot as they seem

Much is being made of the Mercer survey spoke of yesterday, and the fact that it suggests rising pay for risk professionals.

This, however, seems a little strange in light of that recent Robert Walters salary survey suggesting basic pay for risk professionals fell anything from 10 percent to 17 percent last year.

The head of one risk recruitment firm tells us some risk people have been paid while some others haven’t, and that it depends from bank to bank. The banks in which risk professionals are most peeved with their 2011 payments are apparently Barclays Capital, Barclays Wealth, RBS and UBS.

Several banks are preparing to make risk layoffs, he adds. They include Bank of America, RBS and Standard Chartered. RBS’s risk layoffs are particularly poignant.

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