BANK OF AMERICA HIRES SMALL-BUSINESS BANKERS AS IT CUTS WALL STREET JOBS
By Kirsten Grind/Portfolio.com
October 14, 2011
If you were waiting for a sign that small business—and not Wall Street—is the economic growth engine of the United States, here it is.
Bank of America was all over the news Thursday (a common occurrence for the country’s largest consumer bank these days) after it announced it would slash 324 Wall Street jobs, including investment bankers and equity traders. The cuts are part of the 30,000 jobs Bank of America plans to cut to shore up its financial position.
But what went largely unreported is that Bank of America also is hiring—small-business bankers. The bank will hire 90 new employees to work at its branches in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, part of 1,000 new small-business bankers it will bring on board by the first part of 2012.
“Despite the fact that we have talked about streamlining our operations and have announced job cuts, we’ve also said that in areas of growth, we’ll continue to invest,” said Bank of America spokesman Dan Vecchiarello.
A thousand new jobs doesn’t cancel out the 30,000 jobs Bank of America will cut, and the bank is certainly suffering. Its third-quarter earnings next week are expected by analysts to be 26 percent lower than last year, according to Forbes.
Still, Bank of America’s decision is an interesting observation on where the economic growth is located in the United States. By laying off investment bankers, Bank of America is essentially saying that it’s not happening at larger companies.
“We think there is an opportunity in small business,” Vecchiarello said.