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HSBC Cutbacks

SC, FL layoffs

April 10, 2007
(revised April 11, 2007)


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot

HSBC is consolidating some of its mortgage operations.

HSBC Mortgage Services will close its correspondent acquisition channel, Diane Bergan, public affairs vice president -- HSBC North America, told MortgageDaily.com. Future nonprime mortgage acquisitions will be made by the corporate and investment banking side of the business.

"HSBC Mortgage Corp. will continue to make correspondent channel acquisitions of prime mortgages," she said. "Business as usual."

The change will result in an unspecified number of layoffs for support staff, Bergan noted.

"We've been upfront with our employees as this volume of business shifts there will be an impact on volume related staff," she said.

HSBC affiliate Decision One will not be impacted, she said.

In addition, an Orlando office will be closed by the end of June --affecting about 110 jobs, HSBC spokeswoman Kate Durham told MortgageDaily.com.

The office closing was not a direct consequence of the decline in subprime acquisitions but a result of the 2005 acquisition of Metris Credit and the subsequent consolidation of operations, Durham noted. Some employees of Metris, a credit card company, stayed on after its acquisition to help with mortgage operations until the consolidation.

The company has offered on-site job fairs and job placement services to those affected by the closing, and the company is working to re-deploy some of those who would be laid off to the operations in Tampa, Durham said.

She confirmed HSBC's mortgage services is reducing its nonprime acquisition support staff. Some of those positions are in the lender's South Carolina office but there are no specific numbers to report, she said.

The company's London-based parent announced in February it was setting aside $1.76 billion, or 20 percent more than the consensus estimates of $8.8 billion, for loan impairment charges and other credit risk to be accounted for at the end of 2006 for mortgage services operations.

Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: [email protected]

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