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Correspondent Layoffs

Correspondent Layoffs

250 SC jobs cut

May 4, 2006


photo of Coco Salazar
Washington Mutual Inc.’s realignment of correspondent lending operations will result in hundreds of South Carolina layoffs.

Approximately 250 home loan employees in Florence, S.C., received notice Tuesday that their positions would be eliminated, WaMu spokeswoman Sara Gaugl told in an e-mailed statement.

“We believe yesterday’s actions will better align our resources with our business initiatives and position us well for future growth,” Gaugl said in the statement.

The Seattle-based thrift told employees it had made adjustments to its correspondent lending activities to diversify the product set into higher-margin products, leverage the distribution network and reduce costs.

Currently, there are about 1,000 employees in Florence, but the city “will remain an important hub for the company and additional growth there is likely over time,” Gaugl said. “Positions related to secondary mortgage market operations will relocate to Florence.”

In addition to redirecting correspondent channel activities to the conduit business managed by the home loans capital markets division, WaMu will shift focus from buying low-margin products on a loan-by-loan basis to acquiring bulk and mini-bulk purchases of higher-margin lending products, such as option and hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, and alternative A and B, and subprime loans, according to the statement.

In January, WaMu let 64 post-funding, Florence employees know their jobs would be cut by or before midyear and would be performed in India. The company expects to grow the number of offshore full-time employees from 1,600 to 6,000 over the next two years.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for

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