Layoffs, branch closings at Phila's biggest bank

Beneficial Mutual Bancorp, the biggest bank still based in Philadelphia, plans an "expense management reduction program" that will "reduce its workforce by approximately 4% during the first quarter," and "consolidate" five branches into other locations, the bank told the Securities and Exchange Commission. Filing here.

Beneficial employs around 900, meaning the cuts will affect 30-40 jobs. Boss Gerry Cuddy has said Beneficial has had a tough time growing out of the recession because Philadelphia-area business has been slow to recover and there hasn't been much demand for new loans.

Beneficial said it will take pre-tax charges of: $2.7 million to pay severance and outplacement costs for the laid-off employees, and $1.5 million to close the five branches.