Politics & Money

WaMu Lays Off 120, Closes Loan Fulfillment Center

A syndicated story from the Easy Bay Business Times relays that Washington Mutual is closing its Dublin, Calif.-based loan fulfillment center in the SF Bay Area. The closure will cost 120 employees their jobs, with the company saying it will transfer loan processing to its Anaheim, Calif. center. The layoffs were previously announced, and are part of larger job losses at the Seattle-based bank:

In February, it said it would eliminate 2,500 support positions in its mortgage unit and reduce its mortgage processing offices to 16 from 26. In the year ended March 31, WaMu cut more than 10,000 jobs, or almost 18 percent of its work force.

You’ve got to give press spokesperson Tim McGarry credit for spinning the layoffs as part of business-as-usual:

The job cuts are driven not only by the housing slowdown but also by an effort on WaMu’s part to eliminate duplication by consolidating offices where possible, McGarry said. McGarry stressed that the company was not exiting the subprime business.

Here’s McGarry’s spin, translated: Our subprime lending volume is down roughly 40 percent, which means we have alot of AEs we don’t need and a ton of loan processors that are — at least in our eyes — interchangable. We don’t want out of the subprime business, but we’ll only participate so much as Wall Street makes it clear it wants our loans.

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