Citibank to lay off about 700 workers during holiday season

Mark Lennihan / AP

The Citibank Building is shown, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in New York.

Citibank’s mortgage division at the Lakes will close later this year, throwing more than 700 people out of work just before the Christmas holidays.

The closure is part of a nationwide reduction strategy involving 1,000 layoffs by New York-based Citibank, but most of the affected employees are based in Las Vegas.

“In response to decreased demand for mortgage originations and refinancing, CitiMortgage is eliminating some positions in sales, fulfillment, underwriting and mortgage default functions predominantly at Citi sites in Las Vegas and Irving, Texas,” Mark Rodgers, director of Citi public affairs, said in a statement issued today.

“Most of the impacted Irving employees will be reassigned to other work at the site, resulting in an overall net reduction of approximately 1,000 jobs through these actions. While difficult, these actions reflect our ongoing efforts to increase operational efficiency, adapt to changes in the marketplace and position the business for the future.

“Citi will help impacted employees identify opportunities both inside and outside of the company. Impacted employees will be eligible for Citi severance benefits and transition support.”

Rodgers said home mortgage refinancings have slowed nationwide, leading to the decision to shutter the Las Vegas division and lay off 760 Las Vegas workers.

An employee at the center who asked not to be named said employees were notified at a company meeting this morning. He said some divisions would shut down in late November, with most of the layoffs occurring Dec. 20.

Some employees have speculated that Citi, whose mortgage division they say has been unprofitable, may exit that business.

Severance packages will be based on time of service to the company plus an additional two months of paid benefits.

A Citibank call center handling consumer inquiries and processing customer requests employing about 350 people at the Lakes won’t be affected by the mortgage division closure.

Home mortgage interest rates continue to be at or near record lows, but Rodgers said the refinancing market has slowed because most people seeking to refinance have already done so.

Tags: Business