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HSBC Retail Unit Halts New Business

Solstice Capital restructuring, laying off 130

December 11, 2008

By staff

A retail lending subsidiary of HSBC North America is scaling back operations and laying off staff.

Solstice Capital has stopped accepting loan applications, a notice on its Web site says.

"Solstice Capital is currently undergoing a business restructuring and not accepting applications," the notice states. "In order to continue to serve you, you may contact our affiliate HSBC Mortgage Corp."

Solstice originated 2,261 loans for $347 million in 2007, according to AllMortgageDetail.

The Irvine, Calif.-based firm was acquired by HSBC Finance Corp. in 2006. At the time, it had 170 employees.

The restructuring affects around 130 employees in Irvine and approximately 35 in Nashville, Tenn., an HSBC spokeswoman told in a statement. Layoffs will occur in stages through early next year.

HSBC said it is providing impacted employees with detailed information about severance, internal job opportunities and outplacement services.

A small core team is being retained at Solstice, according to the spokeswoman -- though she couldn't provide more details about future operations because the company is in the midst of discussions with employees about plans.

"After careful deliberation and consideration of a range of factors, Solstice Capital announced internally that it is restructuring its operations and reducing its workforce," she said in the statement. "We greatly appreciate the dedication and contribution of our employees, and will do our best to assist them in finding alternate positions."

Last month, HSBC Mortgage Corp. closed its indirect lending channel. That move impacted 325 employees.

During September 2007, subprime wholesale lending subsidiary Decision One Mortgage was shut down -- resulting in 750 layoffs. One month earlier, 600 HSBC Finance Corp. employees were impacted when a Carmel, Ind., retail lending facility was closed.

HSBC Mortgage Services' correspondent acquisition channel was closed in April 2007, leading to an unspecified number of layoffs.

In all, around 2,000 HSBC employees have been laid off since least year.

HSBC-Related Layoffs
Date Reported
Nov. 18, 2008 HSBC Mortgage Corp. Depew, N.Y.
Nov. 18, 2008 HSBC Mortgage Corp. national
June 26, 2008 HSBC Mortgage Services Chesapeake, Va.
Sept. 21, 2007 Decision One Mortgage mostly in Fort Mill, S.C.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Charlotte, N.C.
Aug. 22, 2007 HSBC Finance Corp. Carmel, Ind.
April 10, 2007 HSBC Mortgage Services correspondent acquisition channel national
not specified
April 10, 2007 HSBC Mortgage Services correspondent acquisition channel Orlando, Fla.
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