Schwab Slashes Work Force Again in Weak Trading Market

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A weak customer-trading environment has prompted discount and online broker Charles Schwab Corp. to announce layoffs of 2,000 to 2,400 employees, or 9 percent to 11 percent of its work force.

The new cutbacks follow a round announced in March. Schwab had 22,300 employees at the end of July. In all, the various layoffs will result in a year-end staffing level nearly 25 percent below the start of 2001.

"As our clients grapple with the toughest market environment that many of them have ever faced, they have scaled back their investing activity significantly," company chairman/CEO Charles Schwab said in a statement. "They are currently trading about 50 percent less than they were at the beginning of the year."

Schwab also will scale back on existing facilities and mothball certain systems hardware.

The restructuring will result in a $225 million pre-tax charge through the rest of the year. It also will reduce pre-tax operating expenses by nearly $65 million a quarter starting from second quarter of 2002.

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