Charles Schwab & Co. announced last week that it is closing its call center in Austin, Texas and laying off the approximately 300 employees in Austin and 75 more from its four other call centers in Denver, Indianapolis, Orlando, Fla., and Phoenix.

Schwab has already eliminated 7,200 employees, or about 27% of its workforce, since the beginning of 2001. Like those layoffs, this round is strictly a cost-cutting measure due to difficult market conditions, according to the firm.

"The major market indices all experienced double-digit declines during the first seven months of 2002, while recent surveys of our own clients show a decline in confidence in the stock market since last year," said Schwab Chairman and Co-CEO Charles Schwab, in a statement. "These conditions, fueled by the continuing investigations of corporate accounting and governance, have put ongoing pressure on our financial performance and deepened our belief that the environment in which we operate may continue for some time."

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