Bank of America announced it will dump 30,000 jobs in a bid to reverse a crisis of confidence among its investors.
The bank is among the largest in the Washington region, where it employs thousands.
Investors have cut the bank's market value by half this year. The bank is facing huge liabilities over soured mortgage investments and concerns over whether it has enough capital to withstand more financial shocks.
`We don't have to be the biggest company out there,'' CEO Brian Moynihan told the AP.
Some analysts worry that a shrunken work force will reduce the quality of customer service at the bank. The reductions will cut 10 percent of the bank's current workforce. Moynihan said that attrition could account for some of the reductions.
The cuts are the largest by a U.S. employer this year, according to the outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Merck & Co. said this year it would cut 13,000 jobs. Bank of America's cuts are the largest since the Postal Service announced 30,000 job cuts last year. General Motors Co. cut 47,000 jobs in 2009.