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WaMu, BNY Mellon latest banks to shed jobs

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and Washington Mutual on Friday became the latest in a string of banks to announce layoffs.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and Washington Mutual on Friday became the latest in a string of banks to announce layoffs.

BNY Mellon said it will cut its worldwide work force by 4 percent, or about 1,800 jobs, blaming the weak global economy.

"It has become clear that we need to take additional steps beyond our merger synergies to reduce expenses, given the current weakness in the global economy," Chairman and Chief Executive Robert P. Kelly said Thursday.

Washington Mutual, now owned by JPMorgan Chase, planned to eliminate about 1,600 Bay Area jobs due to the closures of one operations center in Pleasanton, Calif., and another in San Francisco, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Boeing Co. says it will likely lay off more workers next year as it cuts costs in a slowing economy.

Citigroup to shed 53,000 jobs
BNY Mellon said attrition would reduce the number of layoffs. It has 43,000 employees worldwide.

BNY Mellon was formed last year by the combination of Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corp. It operates in 34 countries, providing financial services for institutions, corporations and wealthy individuals, and has $1.1 trillion in assets under management.

Last month, it reported that third-quarter profit tumbled 53 percent on securities losses and a big charge to shore up funds hurt by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

BNY Mellon's announcement Thursday followed job cuts at other commercial and investment banks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is shedding about 10 percent of its investment bank staff, according to a person who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the cuts have not been publicly announced.

On Monday, Citigroup Inc. said it would shed 53,000 jobs, some from selling lines of businesses, after the banking giant suffered huge losses from deteriorating loans.

Last week, Morgan Stanley said it would cut 10 percent of staff in its biggest business and reduce jobs in other areas, although it wasn't clear how many of the securities firm's 44,000 employees would lose their jobs.

American Express said late last month it would cut 7,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force.

Boeing to cut overall work force
Boeing Co. may lay off some workers next year as part of an effort to cut costs in response to difficult market conditions and a slowing global economy, a company executive said.

In an internal memo sent to employees Thursday, Rick Stephens, senior vice president of human resources, was quoted as saying the aerospace company expects its number of employees to decline in 2009 after several years of growth.

That decline could exceed Boeing's average annual attrition rate of 4 to 5 percent, though the Chicago-based company has not made a firm estimate. It would include a mix of attrition, hiring freezes and layoffs, he said, according to the memo.

The memo was released a day after Boeing announced plans to lay off 800 of its roughly 3,000 workers at a facility in Wichita, Kan., due to the delay of a U.S. Air Force tanker replacement program and the end of other work projects.

"As evidenced by the announcement yesterday in Wichita, we do expect to see some employment decreases starting in early 2009," Stephens said. "Where reductions occur, we will do everything we can to mitigate the impact on our team through natural attrition, release of outside contract hires and job transfers within Boeing."

Parts of the company, which makes military aircraft, civilian jetliners and surveillance systems, are already taking steps to deal with the tougher business environment, such as cutting discretionary spending and reviewing staffing levels, he said.

Boeing's chief executive, Jim McNerney, was quoted as saying the company's challenges next year include delays in contract awards and completing programs, cost-cutting to fund development programs, expectations for lower defense spending, and the potential impact of a global recession on the airline industry.

"To protect the competitiveness and innovation responsible for building our record backlog — and to best serve our customers — we must respond aggressively to these business realities," he said.

Boeing, which has 3,734 aircraft on order, has seen orders peak and the number of planes in its backlog will probably decline going forward, the chief of its commercial airplanes division said Wednesday.

Boeing, the world's No. 2 commercial aircraft maker after Airbus, employed more than 164,000 people in 70 countries at the end of October. Its business is almost evenly split between its commercial aircraft and defense units.