Bank of America CEO's 'mantra' should scare big bank employees

Bank of America’s chief Brian Moynihan is thinking a lot about jobs these days.

“Headcount continues to work its way down in our company,” Moynihan said in an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier today. “That’s the expense mantra that we all talk about.”

For Bank of America, which reported earnings that topped earnings expectations Wednesday, this could mean even more cuts — or at least, elimination by attrition.

“When someone’s job comes up and someone leaves for whatever reason … we basically say do we need to replace the job?,” Moynihan said. “A lot of jobs you do and a lot of jobs you don’t.”

At a time when paydays for the biggest names on Wall Street have gotten bigger, the ‘middle class’ of the industry is being eroded as more financial services roles are being automated or eliminated entirely thanks to a mix of regulation and technology.

M0ynihan pegged Bank of America’s personnel costs at about 60% of its overall spending. Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker pointed out that one of his top competitors, Wells Fargo, sees personnel representing 57% of its costs.

“Ours should be better,” he said.

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