Amid Controversy, Bank of America Slashes Jobs at Fleet

By Staff Report

Aug. 19, 2004

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says that Bank of America told him staffing levels would be kept constant after its acquisition of Fleet Bank. On Wednesday, however, Bank of America cut an estimated 1,500 Fleet jobs.

Bank of America’s spokewoman Eloise Hale told the Associated Press that the layoffs are consistent with B of A’s promises. “We will meet our commitment over time. Employment levels will drop in the short term, but we will over time grow employment levels as we grow in the market.”

The Boston Globe says that the “cuts are likely to be especially painful because many Fleet employees thought they had received assurances from Bank of America that the branches would escape the brunt of the 12,500 nationwide layoffs Bank of America is implementing as part of the merger.” The Globe says that branch managers were instructed to tell bank tellers that “Originally, we were told not to expect impact to customer-facing positions” but that the need for “optimal staffing levels” is necessary to provide “customer delight” at Fleet.

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