Sovereign Bancorp said Monday that it is cutting 500 jobs, or 6% of its work force, as part of a restructuring that includes a realignment of its top executives along product lines as it continues to move beyond its traditional thrift roots.

The $35 billion-asset company, based in Wyomissing, Pa., is nearing the completion of its move into New England, where it bought nearly 300 branches and related deposits divested this year by FleetBoston Financial Corp.

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