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Merger to Result in Trimmed Jobs

Merger to Result in Trimmed Jobs

Regions, Amsouth merger to net job losses

August 17, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Regions Financial Corp.’s merger with Amsouth Bancorporation will result in mortgage layoffs. But jobs being added at the new headquarters will offset some of the job losses.

The integration plan for the mortgage operations of the two Birmingham, Ala.-based companies will eliminate 100 mortgage associates in Memphis, Tenn., according to an e-mail statement from Amsouth spokesman Rick Swagler.

The cuts will be consequential to the relocation of Regions Mortgage’s headquarters from Memphis to Birmingham. Sales offices, a servicing office and an operations center, which currently house 190 full-time employees, will remain in Tennessee.

“We did not approach these decisions lightly, and every attempt has been made to minimize the negative repercussions on the people involved,” said Robert A. Goethe, who will serve as head of the merged mortgage businesses, in the statement.

Affected mortgage associates can apply for other positions within the company or work through their job-ending date to receive a lump-sum severance package and outplacement services, Swagler said.

The integration plan will allow an estimated 80 new job opportunities in Birmingham, Swagler said.

The new base location will house executive offices, secondary marketing, post-closing/loan delivery, production administration for retail lending, financial planning, quality control/compliance, credit policy and other mortgage support departments, he added.

“A Birmingham headquarters enhances the ability of our mortgage line of business to interface with key corporate support areas such as treasury and credit,” Regions Financial spokeswoman Amy Minchin said in a statement. “It also provides opportunities to better integrate mortgage products into other lines of business, such as consumer and private banking, which are based in Birmingham.”

The combined entity, Regions Mortgage, will employ approximately 2,000 employees and be one of the nation’s top 30 mortgage companies, the statement said. Regions’ reported 2005 volume of $16.0 billion in conforming and nonconforming loans will be enhanced by Amsouth’s production, which Swagler said was under $4.2 billion for the year.

Amsouth’s $7 billion portfolio, currently being handled by a third party, will be transferred to Regions’ servicing platform in Memphis and Hattiesburg, Miss., according to the statement. As of June 30, 2006, Regions’ portfolio was $36.4 billion, Minchin said. The combination of the companies’ primary mortgage servicing portfolios is tentatively planned for first quarter 2007.

All the changes may continue through the second quarter 2007.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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