BEACHWOOD -- WKYC has learned that Bank of America has laid off 1,000 mortagage associates here, 55 in Independence and 100 in Cincinnati, with at least 45 more to be laid off pending.
The last day of work for these employees will be Oct. 31. On that same date all 3 mortgage branches in Beachwood, Independence, and Cincinnati will close. The Beachwood property -- two buildings -- was already sold back in 2007 to the Cleveland Clinic.
Beachwood Mayor Merle Gorden released this statement:
"We were contacted today by Bank of America representatives. They indicated that with the increase in interest rates, their home loan and refinancing applications are down substantially, and that as a result, there were pending layoffs in multiple cities and states housing this line of business, including ours."
"While we are always very disappointed to hear of any job cuts, we view this as a temporary setback. The Cleveland Clinic owns the two buildings housing the affected Bank of America facilities. The Cleveland Clinic has thriving operations in Beachwood and we are optimistic that they might be able to expand into this space. As such, we will engage very soon in conversations with the Cleveland Clinic to review the feasibility of that, and also to determine whether there could be a plan to transfer some of the affected employees into any new jobs that are created."
"In addition, we also told Bank of America that we will assist them in retaining and relocating any remaining employees by finding them more appropriate space that will be competitive and keep them here."
In response to WKYC's inquiry, Bank of America responded: "We continue to reduce the size of our mortgage servicing operations in line with the successful reduction of our portfolio of delinquent mortgage customers. Compared to peak levels in 2011, today we have fewer than one-third the numbers of customers who need the specialized programs and support of this team."
"These actions also reflect our ongoing efforts to streamline our facilities and align our cost structure with market realities, including declining refinance volume resulting from rising interest rates. Bank of America has a strong track record for helping our employees identify opportunities both inside and outside of the bank and we are working closely with leaders in the community to support a smooth transition. We remain committed to Ohio and continue to refine our business model to account for changes in the marketplace to both preserve our presence and plan for the future."