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Banking Highlights: Bank of America Corp (BAC)’s Shutdown, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM)’s Legal Reserve, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) on Customer Relations

Editor’s Note: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)

Bank of America cuts 2,100 jobs in mortgage slump: Report (CNBC)
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is planning to cut 2,100 jobs and close 16 mortgage offices because higher interest rates have reduced demand for home loans, Bloomberg News is reporting. Some 1,500 of those affected helped process home loans and 400 worked in a Cleveland-area call center, Bloomberg reported. Two hundred dealt with overdue mortgages, it said. Offices in California, Virginia, Texas and Ohio are also among those affected, according to the report.

Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan Raises Legal Reserve by at Least $1.5 Billion (Blommberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, increased its litigation reserve by more than $1.5 billion in the third quarter to help cover a “crescendo” of potential legal claims. “This addition to reserves covers a number of different matters, some of which you’ve been reading about,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said yesterday at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference in New York. “There’s been a crescendo of activity in past weeks and we are reacting to that where it makes sense.”

Wells Fargo connects with the community through ATM screen (ATM Marketplace)
While the Fed frets that some U.S. banks are “too big to fail,” consumers fume that they’re “too big to care.” But through the medium of the ATM screen, the nation’s fourth largest trillion-dollar bank is “rightsizing” its customer relations to the community level. The Charlotte Business Journal recently reported that, through September, almost all of the 674 Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) ATMs in North Carolina will display a screen honoring the state’s 2013 Principal of the Year and 2013 Teacher of the Year.

Dow Drops Bank of America, Welcomes Goldman Sachs (The Motley Fool)
Alcoa, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), and Hewlett-Packard will all be dropped from the Dow next week. Replacing them will be Nike, Visa, and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), marking the biggest revision of the price-weighted Dow in nearly 10 years. What’s behind this change-up? An article from The Wall Street Journal earlier today noted that the group that manages the Dow, the S&P Dow Jones Indices, commented that the low share price of each of the three losers was one reason for the change, as well as a desire to diversify the index.

A lifetime of party ties for Fang Fang, JP Morgan’s man in China (Quartz)
It wasn’t easy for Fang Fang, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)’s vice chairman of investment banking in Asia, to get a toehold in the business. After getting an MBA at Vanderbilt University on a full scholarship, he said he fell flat in dozens of investment bank interviews before finally acing a meeting with Merrill Lynch that earned him his first job. With 40 or 50 interviews under his belt, “I realized I could predict their question before they finished it, he said in a June 2011 interview with Zhonghua Yingcai (“China’s Talents”) a Communist Party-sponsored magazine that features profiles of prominent members and citizens.

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