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Bank of America nears second phase of restructuring plan

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Bank of America (BAC) is close to completing the first phase of a comprehensive reorganization plan that will result in the elimination of 30,000 jobs over the next few years and a $5 billion reduction in annual expenses by 2014, the banking giant said late Monday night. The reorganization strategy, which has been named New BAC, started in January 2010 and includes a recent shake up in executive management and a business realignment. The second part of the plan, which will evaluate other parts of the huge company's operations, begins in October and will last through March. During the second phase, BofA said it will review "those businesses and operations that were not reviewed" during the first phase. "As the company implements the thousands of decisions from project New BAC over time, it intends to become a more focused, leaner, and more efficient company, providing all of its customers and clients with the best financial services, generating strong revenues, carefully managing expenses and risks, and delivering long-term value for shareholders," BofA said. Analysts reviewing the plan found it ignores key restructuring needs and places too much emphasis on lay offs, while ignoring litigation risks tied to mortgage-backed securities acquired through the purchase of Countrywide Financial. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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