Citigroup to eliminate 160 more jobs in Las Vegas

Mark Lennihan / AP

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

Just months after cutting hundreds of mortgage jobs in Las Vegas, Citigroup is adding more local workers to the pile.

Management last week told roughly 220 employees at Citigroup’s sprawling back-office facility at the Lakes that their jobs either would be eliminated by October or become work-from-home positions, spokeswoman Janis Tarter said today.

The workers provide banking and loan transaction services. About 60 are earmarked to telecommute, according to Tarter, leaving 160 others out of work.

Tarter did not give specific reasons for the cutbacks, saying the moves by the New York banking giant are “related to our ongoing efforts to increase operational efficiency and service levels while adapting to changes in the marketplace.”

In September, company officials said they would eliminate 1,000 employees from Citigroup’s home-lending business. Most of the cutbacks were in Las Vegas, where roughly 760 people lost their jobs.

At the time, Citigroup spokesman Mark Rodgers issued an almost identical explanation for the cuts as Tarter. He said the actions “reflect our ongoing efforts to increase operational efficiency, adapt to changes in the marketplace and position the business for the future.”

Those changes include rising borrowing costs that are crimping the U.S. mortgage industry.

Interest rates for 30-year home loans averaged 4.46 percent last month, up from 3.35 percent a year earlier, according to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac.

Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association lowered its forecast for new mortgages this year by $57 billion, to $1.12 trillion, because of slumping loan applications and rising interest rates.

The trade group also slashed its forecast for refinancings this year by $23 billion, to $440 billion.