BofA's Staff Now Smaller Than Before Buying Countrywide, Merrill

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s cost-cutting hit a new milestone last quarter.

The lender’s headcount dropped to 204,681 in the third quarter, a decline of more than 3,000 in the period. The company now has fewer employees than it did in the second quarter of 2008, before its crisis-era acquisitions of subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. and investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co.

The lender’s headcount jumped by more than 40,000 after each of those acquisitions, but years of scaling back its mortgage operations and using technology to reduce the need for employees has wiped out that expansion.

The cuts have helped Bank of America’s efforts to control costs. Expenses accounted for 57 percent of revenue in the third quarter, the best ratio in more than five years.

BofA's Staff Now Smaller Than Before Buying Countrywide, Merrill

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