Citigroup Inc. will eliminate 760 jobs in its Las Vegas mortgage unit through layoffs starting in December, a move the company attributes to a drop in home loan refinances driven by higher mortgage rates.
The cuts will eliminate more than two-thirds of the CitiMortgage staff based at the Lakes at 8725 W. Sahara Ave. Work will end for most on Dec. 20, with the remainder of the positions eliminated in March, a company spokesman said.
“In response to decreased demand for mortgage originations and refinancing, CitiMortgage is eliminating some positions in sales, fulfillment, underwriting and mortgage default functions at Citi sites in Las Vegas and Irving, Texas,” Mark Rodgers, director of Citi public affairs in New York, said in a statement.
Freddie Mac reports the average for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan is now more than 4.6 percent, compared with less than 3.5 percent earlier this year.
Rodgers said Citi is eliminating about 1,000 positions nationwide. The cuts announced Monday amount to about 8 percent of the 13,000 jobs in the mortgage division. He said most of the affected employees in Irving will be reassigned to other work at that site.
“Citi will help impacted employees identify opportunities both inside and outside the company,” Rodgers said. “Impacted employees will be eligible for Citi severance benefits and transition support.”
Citi is the nation’s sixth-largest mortgage lender.
The bank reported $17.2 billion in second-quarter mortgage originations, down 4 percent from the previous quarter.
The decline in refinance mortgage lending that began in early 2013 continued into the third quarter, with re-fi originations moving to their lowest level in two years, according to analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance.
Refinance mortgage production fell 12.9 percent, from $381 million in the first quarter to $332 million in the second quarter, and has continued to decline since June, the industry newsletter said.
“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,” Rodgers said.
Citi expects to keep 350 consumer operations and technology jobs in Las Vegas, and will remain in the mortgage business with consolidation of most operations at offices in Florida, Michigan, Missouri and other locations.
An employee at the center who asked not to be named said employees were notified at a Monday morning meeting. He questioned the need for layoffs, describing Las Vegas as Citi’s largest and most profitable mortgage unit.
This is not the first time Citi has left the Lakes in Las Vegas.
Citi consolidated its charter in July 2011, a move that saw more than $140 million in deposits and 75 credit card jobs migrate to Sioux Falls, S.D.
Shares of Citi declined $1.64, or 3.20 percent, to close at $49.57 on heavy volume of 31.6 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Citi shares declined 5 cents, or 0.10 percent, to $49.52 in after-hours trading.
Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.