Bank of America said to have fired at least 15 senior Asia bankers

This Nov. 23, 2015, photo, shows a branch office of Bank of America, in New York.
This Nov. 23, 2015, photo, shows a branch office of Bank of America, in New York. AP

Bank of America fired at least 15 senior bankers at its investment-banking unit in Asia this week as it pares jobs globally, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Among those let go by the Charlotte-based bank were three managing directors and 12 directors, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Bank of America also eliminated junior positions and back-office jobs, they said, without providing details on those cuts.

Wang Bing, a managing director in the China investment-banking business, and Patrick Steinemann, co-head of Asia industrials banking, are among executives leaving the bank, the people said. Most of the cuts came in Hong Kong, along with reductions in Singapore and Australia, the people said. Andrew Brown, a managing director responsible for coverage of top clients, also left, they said.

Investment banks worldwide have been cutting jobs in recent months as stock-market turmoil and a slowing Chinese economy put the brakes on dealmaking and trading. Citigroup Inc. this week forecast first-quarter revenue from investment banking will tumble 25 percent, and Deutsche Bank AG on Friday announced steep cuts in bonuses.

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan has cut thousands of jobs in recent years in an effort to reduce costs, and he has said more cuts are expected in 2016. The bank this week confirmed it recently laid off a “small number” of Charlotte employees across various units.

Paul Scanlon, a spokesman for Bank of America, declined to comment.

Wang rejoined Bank of America in 2009 as head of China corporate finance following a brief hiatus, after having worked there from 2004 to 2008. He was promoted to co-head of China investment banking in 2011 and ceded that position in late 2014. Steinemann, who joined Merrill Lynch & Co. about a decade before its acquisition by Bank of America, was named co-head of Asia industrials investment banking in June 2012.

Barclays Plc earlier this year exited its cash-equities business in Asia and also cut investment-banking jobs in the region. Mark Williams, Nomura Holdings Inc.’s head of investment banking for Asia outside Japan, is among other recent industry departures. The Observer contributed.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer