BofA to Lay Off 20-30 Traders From Prop Desk

Jim Forkin|Senior Assignment Desk Manager, CNBC

Bank of America Merrill Lynch will lay off 20-30 people from the firm's proprietary trading desk, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to CNBC Wednesday.

A Bank of America trader inside the NYSE.
Oliver Quillia for

The spokesperson noted that the layoffs were not based on performance, but rather are a step toward the bank's efforts to comply with new financial regulations.

"We continue to explore the best possible ways to comply with the Volcker rule, and this is one step in that direction," the spokesperson said.

The "Volcker rule" was just one component of a sweeping financial reform bill passed earlier this year by Congress. The rule seeks to limit the amount of speculative trading a firm can pursue for its own benefit and not on behalf of clients.

The move by Bank of America comes on the heels of similar reorganizations at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase . Earlier this week, amemo from JPMorgan Chase announced it would shift its proprietary trading unit into asset management operations.