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Citigroup Move Could Cut 650 Western Md. Jobs

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Citigroup Inc. says it plans to close a Hagerstown unit that employs about 650 people servicing home loans that have gone into default.

The unit’s workers comprise about 28 percent of the approximately 2,300 Citigroup employees in Hagerstown.

Nearly 50 jobs will be cut by the end of March as the company sells the rights to service, mostly on behalf of Fannie Mae, about 64,000 defaulted mortgages, spokesman Mark Rodgers said.

He said Citigroup will end all mortgage default servicing operations in Hagerstown by the end of the year as part of a consolidation of that business. Citigroup wouldn’t say where any of those jobs might be moved.

The Hagerstown job cuts were first reported by The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

Citigroup also plans to close a default mortgage service unit near Fort Mill, S.C., in a move that could affect up to half of the 850 workers there, The (Rock Hill, S.C.) Herald reported.

Rodgers said the Hagerstown positions to be cut by March are among 950 jobs the company is eliminating across the country, including in Las Vegas, Phoenix and St. Louis.

Rodgers said regulatory requirements have made it difficult for New York-based Citigroup to service the default loans.

Citigroup has offset previous layoffs by shifting other divisions and functions to the Hagerstown office, Washington County Assistant Administrator Sarah Sprecher said.

“As they continue to be a major employer and player in the business community, we hope they may be able to add jobs from other units in the near future,” she said.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development said it will work with the state’s labor office to assist the displaced workers.

“We are working both with the displaced workers, as well as with any companies that are hiring, to see if we can connect them and see if they have a need for an employee with a similar skill set,” spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood said in an email.

Citigroup reported Thursday that it earned $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Its revenue dipped 2 percent to $17.9 billion.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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