CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Bank of America said Thursday it will cut about 4,500 jobs, or about 2.5 percent of its work force, beginning this month as a result of its merger with FleetBoston Financial Corp.
Bank of America said the cuts largely result from combining consumer banking, consumer products and small business banking into one banking line.
Bank of America, which currently employs about 178,000 people, said the reductions will not affect employment commitments it made after complaints by state officials in Massachusetts.
Bank of America announced last month that the wealth and investment management business would move to Boston, concentrating one the company's four major business lines in Fleet's former headquarters city. That move was viewed as an effort to reassure Massachusetts officials that the company is committed to the Northeast.
In Thursday's announcement, the bank also said that as promised, the job reductions will not be among workers who deal directly with customers, such as tellers.
The bank said Thursday it expects this round of layoffs to cost about $150 million in severance costs.