Citigroup cuts dozens of mortgage staffers as housing market slows

It joins its rivals in trimming its ranks

Citigroup cuts dozens of mortgage staffers as housing market slows

by Jenny Surane

Citigroup Inc. joined rivals in trimming the ranks of its mortgage workforce as rising interest rates continue to crimp demand in the housing market.

Fewer than 100 positions were eliminated, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing internal information.

“Citi has made a small number of staffing reductions within our mortgage team due to internal streamlining of functions,” a Citigroup said in an emailed statement. “The decision to eliminate even a single colleague role is very difficult, especially during these challenging times, and we are doing our best to support each individual by helping them to find new employment opportunities within Citi or outside the firm.”

Rising prices and a rapid increase in mortgage rates have dampened demand for many would-be homebuyers. Mortgage application volume has plummeted by more than 50% this year and US pending home sales in July fell to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic.

Citigroup’s US retail bank originated $7.2 billion in mortgages in the first six months of the year, a 15% drop compared with a year ago. The firm’s move comes after JPMorgan Chase & Co. laid off hundreds of home-lending employees and moved hundreds more into new positions inside the bank, while Wells Fargo & Co. is weighing how to shrink its vast mortgage empire, including through job cuts.

Citigroup -- which employs more than 230,000 people around the world -- has made additions to its mortgage ranks amid a push to expand in US retail banking. The firm hired Wells Fargo’s Darin Lugat in recent months to oversee home lending for New York, New Jersey and Northeast suburban markets. Lugat reports to Liz Bryant, who leads retail mortgage sales and joined from Wells Fargo last year.

 

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