Bank of America to close print operation

150 employees to lose jobs at Malden facility; move made as more use online statements

By Todd Wallack
Globe Staff / July 7, 2011

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Bank of America Corp., the state’s biggest bank, plans to close a printing operation in Malden and shift the work to other states by next spring, eliminating 150 local jobs.

Company spokesman T.J. Crawford said the bank no longer needs the Malden plant, which handles high-speed printing jobs for customer mailings and inserts, as more customers opt for online statements and information.

A Forrester Research study last year found nearly one-quarter of US bank customers relied exclusively on electronic statements.

The bank plans to shift the printing work to sites in Delaware, New Jersey, and Texas and complete the transfer by April. It will begin laying off workers next month.

Crawford said the bank will retain other operations in Malden, where it has more than 500 employees. Statewide, the bank employs 7,000, more than other retail banks in Massachusetts. That’s down from 9,000 in 2007.

“Our commitment to Massachusetts is stronger than ever and that is backed up by our local lending and charitable giving,’’ Crawford said. “We will remain a major employer in the Commonwealth for years to come.’’

Yesterday, the bank told Connecticut officials it will be laying off more than 100 workers in Hartford and East Hartford.

Spokeswoman Nicole Nastacie said the bank is eliminating 56 positions at its Hartford cash vault site, transferring the work to Dedham and Schenectady, N.Y.

The bank is also exiting its East Hartford lockbox site, affecting about 50 workers. The work will be relocated to Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The move was originally announced in 2009.

Bank of America isn’t the only bank cutting staff. Danversbank recently said it planned to cut 91 jobs as a result of its sale this month to People’s United Bank of Bridgeport, Conn.

People’s United spokesman Brent DiGiorgio said most of the affected employees are in Danversbank’s “back office’’ operations such as account processing, that duplicated its own.

“There should be little, if any, impact on customer-facing employees,’’ DiGiorgio said. Most of the affected workers will be laid off at the end of October.

Not every bank is cutting jobs. TD Bank and Capital One Financial Group both plan to open new branches in Massachusetts. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custodial bank, recently pledged to add nearly 400 jobs in Westborough, including at least 250 being moved from Pawtucket, R.I., where it is closing a facility.

In addition, Edward Jones, one of the country’s largest investment brokers, said it plans to add 23 offices in eastern Massachusetts in the next three to five years.

The company, with 54 branches in Massachusetts, said it plans to add more than 40 jobs, about two in each office.

Bank of America’s downsizing is notable because of its large presence and promise to maintain local employment when it bought FleetBoston, then the region’s biggest bank, in 2004.

The bank said it kept its commitment for several years, but has since consolidated in the wake of the financial crisis and economic downturn.

In addition, Bank of America last year sold Columbia Management, a mutual fund unit with 800 local employees, to Ameriprise Financial of Minneapolis for $1 billion.

The bank now has 16,000 employees in New England, fewer than the 17,900 FleetBoston had prior to the merger. “We’ve been through a financial crisis,’’ Crawford said, “and, as is the case with most companies across the country, employment has been reduced.’’

Material from Associated Press is included in this report. Todd Wallack can be reached at