NEW YORK - J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. could fire as many as 10,000 people, according to bank analyst Andrew Collins of U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

In January the banking company said it would cut about 5,000 positions, as a result of the merger between J.P. Morgan & Co. and Chase Manhattan Bank. But something between 8,000 to 10,000 is "probably the appropriate number," Mr. Collins said.

The cumulative employee reductions resulting from the merger during 2001 have been 4,508, the company said in a 10Q filing with the Security and Exchange Commission Tuesday. But Mr. Collins estimates the company has cut about 7,000 jobs so far.

The company has naturally grown by about 2,000 people during the same period of time, so the net decline in employees is probably close to about the 5,000 the company is indicating, he said.

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