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Wachovia Cuts Texas Jobs

Around 160 layoffs in San Antonio

January 3, 2008


photo of Coco Salazar

Following an expansion earlier this year, Wachovia Corp. is now cutting mortgage jobs in Texas.

Wachovia eliminated 243 jobs at a San Antonio site in September as part of its ongoing review and integration of business units, according to a Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter Wachovia provided to the Texas Workforce Commission late last month.

Roughly 160 mortgage employees were affected by the move. The rest of the laid off workers catered to different business units serviced by the center, which has a variety of loan closing, fulfillment, servicing, and technology functions, Don Vecchiarello, a spokesman for the Charlotte, N.C.-based company, indicated in e-mail statements today.

"The displacements took place as a result of the current economic climate and industry conditions," he added.

Affected employees were informed of the layoffs 60 days in advance and received severance pay and career transition assistance, according to the letter.

The job cuts appear to be a reversal of an expansion the company embarked upon earlier this year when it held a job fair in the city as part of an effort to hire mortgage loan consultants and assistants, loan closing specialists, mortgage loan representatives, underwriters and managers.

That expansion followed comments by Wachovia Chief Executive Officer Ken Thompson about increasing option adjustable-rate mortgage production beyond the World Savings unit of Golden West Financial Corp., which the company acquired in October 2006.

"By year's end, we expect to have 1,000 [employees] selling option ARM products," Thompson said at a Citigroup investor conference in February. "Even in a down market for mortgages and even in a market that has been particularly brutal for option ARMs versus fixed-rate mortgages, with that added distribution in 2007 we will produce more [option arm loans] than Golden West produced in 2006."

At the time, a spokesman told MortgageDaily.com that employment was expected to reach 4,000 by the time the expansion was complete at the San Antonio facility, which handles all of World's operations.

The center currently houses 3,300 employees, Vecchiarello told MortgageDaily.com today.

"Wachovia is very committed to the San Antonio market," and has more employees there now than at the beginning of 2007, he added.

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

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