BUSINESS

While Laying Off Many, Bank Of America Adds A Few Jobs

05/31/2012 12:53 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2012

Amid the banking world’s Great Contraction, Bank of America is adding jobs -- but only a few targeted positions, and it's laying off many more workers elsewhere.

Bank of America says it is hiring 85 bankers on the West Coast, 70 of whom will cater to small businesses in Northern California, with the rest based out of Oregon.

"Northern California remains a hotbed for entrepreneurship and is cultivating some of the most inspired leaders in the small-business segment," Emily Shanks, the bank’s head of small banking for the region, said in a release.

According to the Bank’s announcement, the vast majority of hires -- 31 -- will be in the San Francisco Bay area. Others will be added in Fresno, Sacramento, and San Jose. The bankers will be working primarily with businesses that bring in less than $3 million in annual revenues, according to Bank of America spokesman Don Vecchiarello.

Though Silicon Valley is primarily known as the home of technology giants and smaller tech startups, Vecchiarello said the bank's hires there are not necessarily meant to target tech start-ups specifically.

“These bankers will work with both start-ups and established small businesses in a variety of industries,” Vecchiarello said in an email to The Huffington Post. “Small business owners have told us they want help and guidance from knowledgeable local associates who have a unique understanding of their business’s needs.”

This is not the first bout of hiring at Bank of America in recent months. In February, it announced plans to add 500 jobs to its workforce over the next three years in Delaware, according to The Boston Globe.

But these hires are relatively small-scale compared to the number of layoffs the bank is undertaking elsewhere. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bank of America is planning to lay off 2000 employees, including a number of high-earning investment bankers.

Those layoffs follow separate plans, announced last September, to lay off 30,000 Bank of America employees worldwide in an effort to save $5 billion.

The downsizing at Bank of America is part of a broader financial-industry downsizing trend. Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, for example, announced last November that it is shedding 3,500 jobs worldwide in an effort to save $2.1 billion by 2013. And in April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley planned to cut dozens of jobs -- including from among its senior ranks.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated where the new bankers will be based. Seventy will be based in northern California and the remaining 15 will be based in Oregon.

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