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EquiFirst Announces Job Cuts

Subprime wholesaler Equifirst confirmed today that it will cut jobs amid what many expect to be long-term downturn in the non-conforming mortgage market. Per Bloomberg:
Barclays Plc's EquiFirst subprime lending unit will cut jobs in the U.S., following rivals in firing staff amid rising defaults ... "This is an EquiFirst-made decision in response to the contraction of the industry and to make sure we have a future in the mortgage lending business," Equifirst spokeswoman Jennifer Sharpe said in an interview today. "Barclays is committed to the non-prime business and very supportive of EquiFirst and its management." She declined to say how many jobs will be cut.
EquiFirst ranks the nation's 12-biggest subprime wholesale originator, and employs roughly 1,400. While the company will not provide specifics, a range of estimates provided to me by alleged former employees today would put the cuts in the neighborhood of 20 to 40 percent. Whether correct or not, who knows ... Barclays Bank PLC bought EquiFirst for $76 million in April in a deal with Regions Financial -- the price was 33 percent below the originally-announced amount, due to market turmoil at the time.

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