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Bank of America Said to Cut Head of Equities Role in Australia

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s head of Australian equities in Sydney, Matthew Unsworth, has left the second-largest U.S. lender and won’t be replaced, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Australian-based staff in equities trading, sales and risk will now report to Hong Kong, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Unsworth didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message left on his mobile phone seeking comment.

Trading volume on the Australian stock market fell 6.9 percent last year after a 54 percent reduction in the previous 12 months. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank ranked eighth for Australian and New Zealand equity and rights offerings last year, down two places from 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan has sold more than $60 billion in assets to boost capital and targeted $8 billion in annual expense savings by 2015 at the firm. The lender, which also operates under the name Bank of America Merrill Lynch, reduced its staff by 14,601 employees last year to about 267,000.

Shares in the bank rose 109 percent last year in New York trading.

The Wall Street Journal reported Unsworth’s departure earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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