ABN AMRO Bank's North American businesses, which include ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. and LaSalle Bank Corporation, will reduce workforce by five percent in 2007, according to a statement released this afternoon. The cuts will amount to nearly 900 jobs, the bank said. The staff reductions, which the bank said will occur across nearly all areas of the bank and at all major locations, represent a strategic decision to better focus resources on the businesses and client relationships that are at the core of the bank's expertise in North America. ABN AMRO announced in its third-quarter results that it is taking steps to lower expenses and improve the operational performance of businesses in mature markets such as the United States. The North American staff reductions coincide with this effort, the bank said. "These kinds of decisions are never easy to make," said Norman R. Bobins, head of ABN AMRO's North American Business Unit. "In today's competitive environment, however, it is imperative that we take a hard look at our clients' needs and align our resources accordingly. With these staff reductions, we will enable our organization to more proficiently address the demands of our market." The majority of the staff reductions are scheduled to take place by mid-year 2007. Financial details will be disclosed in ABN AMRO's annual results announcement on February 8, 2007.