Towson operation to shift to Richmond NationsBank confirms 132-employee center will close by new year HTC

August 24, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

NationsBank will close its Towson-based direct sales center, which employs 132 workers, by Jan. 1, the company confirmed yesterday.

Company spokeswoman Joanne Stevens said NationsBank is transferring the operation to Richmond, Va. Twelve of the 132 workers, including some managers, have opted to move with the company, she said.

The rest of the employees stand to lose their jobs unless they can find positions within the company, she said.

"We were interested in talking to any of those 132 in going to Richmond," Stevens said.

The jobs will move to Richmond's "call center" because "it is felt that that is the best decision for greater efficiencies," Stevens said. "Richmond is considered a state-of-the-art facility. It is huge."

Employees at the direct sales center, at 502 Washington Ave., field calls from people who have questions about NationsBank's products and services, ranging from checking accounts to banking by personal computer.

"They help them with whatever the customers' questions are," Stevens said.

She said that employees were notified in June that the Towson operation would be closed but that they haven't yet received a 60-day termination notice.

Stevens said employees will receive a week's salary for each year of service in a lump-sum payment and career counseling, which includes assistance with resume writing and an assessment of their skills.

NationsBank inherited the Towson operations when it acquired Baltimore's troubled MNC Financial Inc. in 1993.

NationsBank is the largest banking company operating in Maryland. It has 466 branches in the mid-Atlantic region with 13,101 employees.

In Maryland it has 219 branches and 4,100 employees.

NationsBank's Charlotte, N.C.-based parent, NationsBank Corp., has been a strong performer while the entire banking industry has reaped record profits in recent years.

NationsBank's profits in the second quarter ended June 30 jumped 30 percent from a year ago to $605 million.

It also has impressed industry analysts by wringing out savings from operations. The company's efficiency ratio fell to 55.6 percent in the most recent quarter, down from 61.5 percent a year ago. The lower the ratio the better because it means that it costs NationsBank 55 cents to generate $1 in net interest income and other fee income.

Pub Date: 8/24/96

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