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BankUnited Slashing Workforce

160 mortgage jobs being cut

September 19, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

As its regulator issued an order against it, BankUnited Financial Corp. is cutting more than 10 percent of its workforce. The layoffs primarily impact mortgage jobs.

The Coral Gables, Fla.-based company said today it would eliminate 160 positions. The job cuts amount to 12 percent of its current workforce.

"The reductions will come primarily from the bank's residential lending support and operations," BankUnited stated.

The bank hopes to save $11 annually from the move.

"We have done everything to avoid cutting staff and it is painful to get to this point," Alfred R. Camner, BankUnited's chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. "Unfortunately in this unprecedented economic environment, it has become a necessary step."

The headcount reduction comes as consent orders were issued against the firm by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the press release said.

Under the orders, BankUnited must take action to preserve capital and improve its financial strength and liquidity. It must also limit its asset growth.

The bank cannot pay dividends, add senior executives or directors or make certain kinds of severance and indemnification payments without the prior approval of OTS. In addition, it needs approval to renew, extend or revise any compensatory or benefits arrangements with any director or officer.

The financial institution is also required to improve its policies and procedures for loan loss allowances, while it is prohibited from originating negative-amortization loans, option adjustable-rate mortgages and reduced-documentation loans.

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