More Bank of America layoffs hit Charlotte

More Bank of America layoffs hit Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (Deon Roberts/The Charlotte Observer) - Bank of America is laying off an undisclosed number of technology and mortgage workers in Charlotte and elsewhere, the latest cuts this year to employees in such roles.

Affected employees were notified Tuesday, sources with direct knowledge of the decisions told the Observer. The tech layoffs affect the Charlotte-based bank's global technology and operations unit, which is led by Charlotte-based executive Cathy Bessant.

Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm confirmed the tech cuts, saying they reflect the "continued evolution of our business model." In general, the bank does not disclose layoff numbers, he said.

Tuesday's layoffs follow cuts in June of an undisclosed number of tech workers in Charlotte.

Affected mortgage workers are based in uptown, where they handle paperwork for homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, Bank of America spokesman Terry Francisco said. The cuts are in response to lower demand to refinance this year amid higher interest rates, he said.

"It's an adjustment to the market," Francisco said, noting that a couple hundred mortgage employees work in the building but not all are affected by the layoffs. Charlotte is the only U.S. market where mortgage layoffs were announced Tuesday, he said.

One technology employee who works in Charlotte said workers notified on Tuesday included people in engineering, project management and program management functions. Some affected employees work in uptown as well as Rhode Island, the person said.

Frahm said employees affected Tuesday are eligible and encouraged to apply for open positions at the company, which has a strong track record of transitioning laid-off workers into new roles.

Bank of America has reduced its total employment by more than 70,000 under CEO Brian Moynihan, who took over in 2010. Cuts have affected a wide range of positions across the company.

The bank has cited attrition as one factor behind declines in headcount, but it has also pointed to efficiency efforts in previous rounds of layoffs affecting technology jobs. Moynihan has pushed to improve efficiencies under a program launched in 2014 called Simplify and Improve.

Despite Tuesday's cuts, Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, still employs more than 15,000 people in Charlotte, Frahm said. Even as it has cut jobs in some areas, the bank has noted the addition of positions elsewhere, such as sales specialists in branches.

Last year, the bank disclosed a new cost-cutting goal to lower annual noninterest expenses to about $53 billion by the end of 2018, compared with roughly $56.3 billion over the previous 12 months. In June, the bank's chief operating officer said the company will continue trimming costs even after reaching the new goal by finding additional ways technology can replace people.

Wells Fargo has also been trimming jobs in Charlotte this year, as it seeks to cut billions of dollars in expenses while recovering from a major sales scandal.

Last week, the San Francisco-based bank confirmed layoffs of human resources staff in Charlotte. Earlier in the month, Wells announced about 120 layoffs from the closure of a reverse-mortgage operation in Fort Mill, S.C.