Staff changes for Bank of America

More than 100 Bank of America employees in Glendale will be transferred, moved to different departments or laid off, the company announced.

Bank of America told state employment officials it will shift 133 jobs from Glendale by July 31. The positions are in the office at 611 North Brand Blvd. that handles phone, e-mail and online queries from small-business customers.

A Bank of America spokeswoman said the bank is consolidating its small-business unit, and about 100 workers will transfer to Brea. Fifteen are moving into other bank departments and 17 will be laid off.

"Most of the associates are remaining employed and there is very little job loss," said spokeswoman Colleen Haggerty.

Those employees who choose to move can seek a $5,000 relocation reimbursement, and those facing long commutes to Brea will be reimbursed for their travel costs, Haggerty added.

The bank, which fills several floors of the building, will continue to serve as a mortgage and home loan processing center. The floor that houses the small business unit will be vacated and the bank will allow its lease on that space to lapse when the agreement expires at the end of October, Haggerty said.

Bank of America's four branches in the city will be unaffected.

Haggerty said workers were informed months ago and that Bank of America now is "in the middle of moving people." The target date to complete the transition is July 31.

Glendale business officials said the shift would put a dent in the local economy.

"Any time an employer moves out of the downtown Glendale area, it's certainly not a positive," said Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board. "This move will impact other businesses that supplied goods or services to those workers on Brand, such as restaurants and retail stores."

The loss of jobs may soften the local housing market, Glendale Redevelopment & Housing Director Philip Lanzafame said. And Downtown Glendale Merchants Assn. President Eric Olson expressed concern about the growing amount of available office space in the city.

Glendale has lost hundreds of jobs in the banking and finance sector as a result of the recession, Nakamoto said, adding that he expects the industries to continue to contract.

Haggerty said the Brea office and small business departments within Bank of America are growing, but declined to give figures.

North Carolina-based Bank of America's latest earnings report showed the national financial giant generating $3.1 billion in profit on revenues of $29.1 billion in the second quarter of 2010, down from profits of $3.2 billion on revenue of $36.1 billion in the same period in 2009.

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