Now they have company.
Citi has instituted “a small number of staffing reductions” on its mortgage team “due to internal streamlining of functions,” the bank told Bloomberg in a statement Friday. The layoffs number fewer than 100, an anonymous source told the wire service.
“The decision to eliminate even a single colleague role is very difficult, especially during these challenging times, and we are doing our best to support each individual by helping them to find new employment opportunities within Citi or outside the firm,” the bank added in its statement.
Citi has seen a 15% decrease — to $7.2 billion — in the value of the mortgages it has originated during the first half of 2022, compared with the first six months of last year, Bloomberg reported.
But Citi is not the only bank to announce mortgage-sector layoffs over the past two weeks. Wells has issued another round — its ninth since April, according to the Des Moines Register, although the bank has classified several of those as “amendments” to previous rounds.
The bank informed 75 Iowa-based workers they would be let go in late October, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notices filed Aug. 25.
The bank’s home mortgage division is based in Des Moines, and while the initial April cuts to Wells’ mortgage staff also affected workers in markets such as Phoenix, San Antonio, Minneapolis and Charlotte, North Carolina, the bank’s Iowa locations have seen a steady stream of right-sizing: 25 positions in April, 58 in May.
Banking Dive reported a round of 107 Iowa-based Wells layoffs from paperwork filed June 30. But the bank sent Iowa’s workforce development office three more sets of WARN notices in July — 12 to take effect Sept. 14; 29 to take effect Sept. 22; and 53 to take effect Sept. 28, according to state data.
Wells, for its part, reported a 43% decline in home-lending revenue throughout the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2021, according to the Des Moines Register.
"Employee reductions are never easy," bank spokesperson Mike Slusark told the outlet last week. "We regularly review and adjust staffing levels to match needs while also continuing to invest in our businesses and working to improve our customer’s experience."
The nine groups of Iowa layoffs since April encompass 366 workers, according to state data.
Other initiatives for Citi
Citi, meanwhile, may be able to keep its employee count in the net positive. The workers it is adding, though, would be overseas. The bank wants to hire 400 more employees for its Belfast office in a cost-cutting move that spreads its U.K. operations roles away from the more expensive London market.
“Whether it’s compliance, legal HR, markets support functions or technology, these activities are all wanting more people in Belfast,” Citi’s U.K. country officer, James Bardrick, told Bloomberg on Monday. “There’s nothing to suggest that the organic rates of growth that we’ve seen recently won’t continue.”
The bank appears to be expanding, too, on the non-U.K. segment of Ireland. Citi could sign a €100 million deal as early as this month to buy 300,000 square feet of office space in Dublin, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
The bank said this year it would boost staffing in Ireland by 300 roles in risk, audit, finance, technology and operations.
Back in the U.S., Citi is launching two pilot programs early next year under Project REACh, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s move to boost access to credit for underserved communities.
One effort will issue credit cards to people without credit scores, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The second will avail more loans to small businesses owned by women, nonwhite people and veterans. To do that, the bank will lower its threshold for acceptable credit scores and amend its underwriting standards, starting at 20 branches in the Los Angeles area.
“We’ve been looking for how can we lower barriers for entrance into financial services,” Gonzalo Luchetti, Citi’s U.S. consumer-banking chief, told the Journal.
The move comes less than a week after Bank of America announced it would launch a program offering a zero-down payment, zero-closing-cost mortgage solution to first-time homebuyers in nonwhite-majority areas, and another aimed at small businesses.