Bank of America will cut 3,500 jobs by the end of September and eventually could cut 10,000 as the nation's biggest bank aims to transform itself and deal with the overhang from the housing market meltdown.
The bank confirmed plans for a near-term reduction in force in a memo to senior managers although officials were not available to comment on a report in The Wall Street Journal that said more layoffs are likely.
Bank of America had around 280,000 employees at the start of 2011, according to its annual report.
"I know it is tough to have to manage through reductions but we owe it to our customers and our shareholders to remain competitive, efficient and manage our expenses carefully," CEO Brian Moynihan said in a memo to managers, according to the Journal.
The bank is grappling with its $1 trillion problem-loan portfolio and growing economic concerns.
Many banks have been eliminating jobs as the global economy hits another slow patch after barely emerging from a recession that technically ended in 2009.
London-based HSBC Holdings recently announced plans to cut about 30,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2013.
Wave of volatility
Bank of America shares are down 47 percent this year and 28 percent this month alone, when the market has been hit by a wave of volatility. The shares lately were trading around $7, down from more than $15 earlier this year.
The bank has been working through a slew of problems related to the mortgage mess, many of which it inherited when it bought subprime lending specialist Countrywide Financial in 2008.
Eager to shed assets and rebuild its battered capital base, Bank of America said on Monday it plans to sell its $8.6 billion Canadian credit card portfolio to TD Bank Group.
The bank also wants to exit its United Kingdom and Ireland card businesses, but has yet to decide whether to sell or wind down those operations, spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said.