03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top Banks Prepare To Slash Jobs

After geting burned by billions of dollars in losses from the mortgage meltdown, financial giants like Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are gearing up for major job cuts in the new year.

Merrill Lynch could start announcing layoffs as soon as Thursday, CNBC has learned. The jobs cuts, which may be made over several weeks, could total up to 10% of those employees who are not in investment banking or brokerage operations, or about 1,600 positions. The credit and bond departments are most at risk.

Merrill Lynch had about 64,000 employees at the end of September, so a reduction of 1,600 employees would represent less than 3 percent of its total work force.

Merrill had no comment, and the final cuts will be up to the firm's new CEO, John Thain.

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