Bank of America says it plans to eliminate about 30,000 to 35,-000 positions over the next three years, reflecting its pending merger with Merrill Lynch and the weak economic environment, which is affecting the level of its business activity.

It expects to release a final number in early 2009.

The reductions should come from both companies and affect all lines of business and staff units, Bank of America says, and the reductions aim to eliminate redundancies created from the merger and the recession.

Shareholders of both companies voted to approve the transaction last week, and Bank of America is currently targeting a closing on Jan. 1, 2009.