Bank of America will lay off at least 3,500 employees in the next few months -- up to 10,000 in total -- including an unknown number of advisors from the bank's Merrill Lynch unit as a result of lower trading volume and reduced deal flow throughout the country's most recent economic downturn.

"I know it is tough to have to manage through reductions," CEO Brian Moynihan wrote in a memo to the company’s senior leadership late Thursday and obtained by The New York Times. “But we owe it to our customers and our shareholders to remain competitive, efficient and manage our expenses carefully.”

Company officials said they've already begun notifying some affected employees and that the layoffs will be spread throughout the 280,000-employee company. BoA said it already trimmed roughly 2,500 jobs in the first half of this year.

So far this year, BoA shares are off more than 50% and closed at just over $7 a share Thursday.

Larry Barrett writes for Financial Planning.


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