The big banks in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. have announced wave after wave of layoffs in the midst of massive consolidation and restructuring. Three years after the depths of the global financial crisis, banks are suffering from loss of earnings and stagnant revenues, despite, in some cases, huge infusions of capital from taxpayers.
Here are some of the largest global banks that are planning significant job cuts.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)
Lowdown: The Charlotte-based company is the largest U.S. bank by assets. On Friday, the bank said it will lay off 3,500 people as part of a broad restructuring that will likely lead to more job losses later in the year. Chief Executive Brian T. Moynihan said he wants to cut quarterly expenses by $1.5 billion. Media reports estimate that some 10,000 employees may receive pink slips.
The job cuts are also expected to affect the bank's Merrill Lynch unit, which it acquired in 2008. That takeover resulted in up to 35,000 job losses.
The bank, which has about 280,000 employees, has already eliminated 2,500 jobs in the first half of the year. BofA has been particularly hammered by the subprime mortgage crisis and housing collapse. It is still carrying huge amounts of bad mortgage assets on its books – partially in connection with its disastrous 2008 acquisition of subprime lender Countrywide Financial.
Earnings: In July, BofA recorded a second quarter loss of $8.8 billion, or 90 cents per share, following a big settlement with mortgage bond investors. A year earlier, it posted net income of $3.12 billion, or 27 cents per share.
Stock Price: BofA shares have plunged almost 51 percent year-to-date. Since April 15, 2010, its shares have plummeted 64 percent.
Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS)
Lowdown: In August, the Royal Bank of Scotland said it planned to cut 2,000 jobs, principally at its investment banking subsidiary, in connection with its acquisition of ABN Amro of Holland (a deal that turned out to be a disaster).
RBS -- which is 83 percent owned by the British taxpayers -- faces even worse problems since it's heavily exposed to the Greek debt debacle.
Earnings: RBS posted a first-half net loss of 897 million pounds weighed down by charges, compared with a profit of 257 million pounds a year earlier. RBS wrote down the value of its Greek bond holdings by 733 million pounds. It also set aside a 850 million pound charge for customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance on mortgages and other loans.
Stock Price: RBS shares traded in London have plunged 41.9 percent so far this year.
UBS AG (NYSE: UBS)
Lowdown: In July, the Swiss bank warned it may fire up to 5,000 workers, with the hardest hits expected at its trading and FICC units. There are also serious questions about its struggling investment bank. UBS employs about 65,000 workers worldwide.
Earnings: UBS posted a second-quarter net profit of 882 million euros, well below expectations for 1.19 billion in profits. Its results were hurt by a strong Swiss franc, declining client volumes and lower trading income. Net profit plunged 50 percent from a year earlier.
Stock Price: UBS shares traded in New York have tumbled almost 20 percent year-to-date.
Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS)
Lowdown: In July, the Swiss banking group said it would cut up to 2,000 jobs -- including several hundred in the U.S. -- due to sluggish trading activity. The job cuts would affect equities, debt, finance and investment banking. Credit Suisse has about 51,000 workers.
Earnings: Net income dropped to 768 million Swiss francs in the second quarter, from 1.6 billion francs a year earlier, and widely fell short of analysts’ consensus forecast of 1 billion francs. Trading operations at the investment banks were the worst performers due to their exposure to Greece’s sovereign debt crisis.
Stock Price: Credit Suisse shares trading in New York have plunged 35.6 percent year-to-date.
HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HBC)
Lowdown: The British-based bank is seeking to cut 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013, as part of a plan to focus more on the fast-growing emerging markets. HSBC has already eliminated 5,000 jobs this year. The bank employs almost 300,000 globally.
Earnings: The bank actually posted a better-than-expected 3 percent increase in pre-tax profits to $11.5 billion in the second quarter; earnings per share rose to 51 cents in the first half from 38 cents from a year earlier.
Stock Price: HSBC shares traded in London have dropped almost 19 percent year-to-date.
Barclays plc (NYSE: BCS)
Lowdown: The British-based bank said it plans to lay off about 3,000 employees, including in its corporate banking arm and retail bank. Barclays has about 147,000 employees worldwide.
Earnings: For the first half, the bank posted pretax profit of 2.6 billion pounds, down 33 percent from a year earlier, but above the average forecast of 2.4 billion pounds. Results were hampered by drop in bond trading and an insurance misselling charge.
Stock Price: Barclay shares traded in New York have dropped almost 31 percent year-to-date.
Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG)
Lowdown: The British-based bank said it plans to cut 15,000 jobs, or about 14 percent, of its workforce by 2014. It wants to focus on four key UK units and cut annual costs by 1.5 billion pounds within three years.
Earnings: The bank reported a pretax loss of 3.25 billion pounds, or 0.34 pounds per share, for the first half, compared with a profit before tax of 1.3 billion pounds, or 0.9 pounds per share, for the same period in 2010.
Stock Price: Lloyds shares traded in London have plunged 56 percent year-to-date.