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BB&T to lay off 56 at Charleston processing service center

KENNY KEMP | Gazette-Mail
BB&T is laying off 56 employees at its processing service center at 1 Piedmont Rd. in Charleston, the bank announced Tuesday.

BB&T is cutting 56 people’s jobs at its processing service center in Charleston, the financial services company announced Tuesday.

Each associate has been provided a 60-day notice, with career transition services and a severance package, BB&T spokesman David White said in an emailed statement.

The center at 1 Piedmont Road focuses on BB&T operations including the processing of loans, credit cards and mortgages. BB&T will have about 370 employees in the Charleston area total after the layoffs occur, White said.

White said the center will still have employees, but he didn’t know how many.

The layoffs aren’t expected to affect BB&T operations elsewhere in Charleston, White said. The bank has a large presence in the area, with the 18-story BB&T Square building in downtown and seven branches in the city, according to its website.

“As our clients’ preferences change and our industry continues to evolve, we’re constantly evaluating all of our businesses to stay competitive in our markets and maintain our responsibility to shareholders,” White said. “As part of this process we’re becoming a more efficient company in some areas and adding resources in others.”

BB&T acquired the center as part of its purchase of One Valley Bancorp in 2000.

This isn’t the first time BB&T has cut jobs at a processing center. The Triad Business Journal reported in 2015 that the bank would be closing a Maryland-based loan-processing center in its entirety by the end of the year, taking more than 100 jobs with it.

“We understand these situations can be very challenging for our associates and their families,” White said. “We’re already working alongside them to look for other opportunities both inside and outside of our company.”

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said some laid-off employees may be offered jobs elsewhere at BB&T and others may retire. He added that he considers the layoffs to be “a net loss of 36 [jobs]” since the bank had hired an additional 20 employees at the center within the past few years.

Matt Ballard, president of the Charleston Area Alliance, said the layoffs indicate shifts in the banking industry in the digital age, and the Charleston area will have to prepare for and adapt to those shifts.

“We’re seeing changes in the business model where less people are required, and we’ll likely continue to see that,” he said.

Ballard said affected employees may want to check out the upcoming job fair for N3, a sales and marketing firm that announced in August it aims to bring 300 jobs to its planned West Virginia Regional Technology Park office. The fair will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Clay Center.

“There are [businesses] out there looking for two or three new employees, but N3 is looking to fill a lot of positions,” he said.

Reach Max Garland at max.garland@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4886 or follow @MaxGarlandTypes on Twitter.

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