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1,900 financial jobs in London on the line

  |   Jan. 13, 2009 at 1:49 PM
LONDON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Merrill Lynch staffers in Britain said the combined British workforce with the investment firm and new owner Bank of America would be cut by 30 percent.

Staff said management informed them of the workforce reduction, which would eliminate 1,900 jobs in London, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

In December, Bank of America said it would vut its staff between 11 percent and 13 percent worldwide, erasing up to 35,000 jobs in order to save $7 billion in annual operating costs.

Merrill Lynch currently employs 4,500 in London, while Bank of America employs 1,700.

Bank of America stepped in to rescue Merrill Lynch in September, closing on the deal Jan. 1.

"Everyone's really down. Last week we had to be interviewed for our own jobs," a Merrill Lynch staff member said.

The financial sector in London has already been hit hard. The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September eliminated 2,500 jobs. Citigroup Inc. plans worldwide reductions of 52,000. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland are among the financial firms which have announced layoffs.

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