NEW YORK -- Bank of America has slashed 1,200 jobs in its mortgage division as the company's refinancing business slows amid rising interest rates.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank made the cuts this week, a bank representative said. The jobs are scattered around the country, including some in California, but the bank declined to elaborate.

The nation's banks have experienced a sharp slowdown in once-booming profits from refinancing as mortgage rates have climbed from their historic lows while the housing market has healed.

Mortgage rates have recently tumbled but are still above 4 percent.

BofA is planning to also cut 3,000 more jobs by the end of this year, but they are mostly contractors in its legacy asset servicing division, the bank said.

While there has been a slowdown in mortgage refinancing, there has also been a drop in customers needing assistance with short sales or modifications. Delinquencies have also declined.

The layoffs come as Bank of America continues a long-term effort to trim expenses and slim down as the financial giant overcomes a hangover from the mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.

BofA has about 248,000 employees, down from 267,000 at the end of last year.

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