Bank of California to Cut 550 Jobs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Loss-plagued Bank of California, San Francisco, has put into effect a cost-cutting plan that will eliminate 550 jobs, or 15% of its work force, within six months, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The bank, with $8.4 billion in assets, is a unit of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Bank Ltd. It is the second-largest Japanese-owned bank in the United States and the sixth-largest bank in California.

San Francisco-based Bank of California has about 3,700 employees. The spokeswomen said the job reductions will be achieved through a combination of attrition and layoffs.

The bank described the job cuts as a short-term measure to reduce expenses, while a longer-term plan to restore profitability is in place. The bank lost $168 million in the first half of 1991, mainly due to a sharp rise in problem commercial realty loans.

Bank of California is also reorganizing its management structure, consolidating staff and line units into five divisions.

Mitsubishi has agreed to add $250 million in equity, which will raise Bank of California's Tier 1 capital ratio to about 7% of assets, from about 4.1%.

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