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BB&T (BBT) to Close Pennsylvania Call Center & Cut 82 Jobs

Zacks Equity Research

In order to improve operating efficiencies, BB&T Corporation BBT is shutting down its call center at the former Susquehanna Bank headquarters in Lititz, PA. As a result, of its roughly 125 employees 82 will lose their jobs.

The remaining employees will be relocated to the bank’s other facilities in the county. David White, the vice president of corporate communications at BB&T, stated that job cuts were the result of “BB&T’s ongoing effort to evaluate our operations in a highly competitive marketplace and reallocate resources into other strategically important areas, such as improved digital banking technologies to meet our clients' ever-changing needs.”

The call center basically catered to BB&T’s back office operations including administrative and support. The staff members did not deal directly with customers. They will have to leave by mid-December.

White further said, “We understand this is a difficult time for these associates and we will support them through this transition with respect and compassion. This includes helping them find other opportunities inside and outside our company and providing ample notice and severance packages.”

BB&T had acquired Susquehanna Bank and its parent company, Susquehanna Bancshares in November 2015. Notably, this the second major staff reduction in the former Susquehanna headquarter. Earlier in September 2015, BB&T had planned to terminate 89 positions.

Over the last couple of years, BB&T has been on an acquisition spree. Other than Susquehanna, the bank acquired National Penn Bancshares Inc. and Swett & Crawford.

Going forward, based on BB&T’s investments in artificial intelligence and robotics to improve operating efficiency, management is optimistic about its long-term operating leverage and would simultaneously reduce expenses on traditional methodologies.

Over the past year, shares of BB&T have risen 19%, underperforming the industry’s gain of 37.4%.

Currently, BB&T carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Several other major banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, Bank of America Corporation BAC and Citigroup Inc. C have also been moving toward digitalization to cut costs and improve efficiencies to meet client requirements.

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