Consumer Finance HQ Barnett Units Would Remain in Jacksonville

Article excerpt

NationsBank Corp. said yesterday that its consumer finance group

will be headquartered in Jacksonville after its merger with

Barnett Banks Inc., a move that should increase jobs in

Jacksonville in the consumer finance area.

NationsBank will not move any of its existing operations to

Jacksonville but Douglas K. Freeman, who will be head of the

consumer finance business, said he expects to see employment

grow.

"There is a natural proclivity to expand where the headquarters

is," Freeman said.

A large number of Barnett employees in other divisions in

Jacksonville are likely to lose their jobs when Charlotte,

N.C.based NationsBank completes its acquisition of Barnett. But

Freeman said the decision to put the consumer finance

headquarters in Jacksonville shows that NationsBank is committed

to keeping a major presence in the Jacksonville community.

NationsBank is planning to move its Florida headquarters from

Tampa to Jacksonville.

"NationsBank is doing the right thing by the Jacksonville

community," he said.

Barnett's consumer finance operations are based in its Barnett

at the Boulevards office center in Deerwood Park at Southside

and Butler Boulevards, which Barnett has been planning to

expand.

NationsBank spokesman Scott Scredon said the expansion

potential of the office center is one reason Jacksonville is the

logical choice for the consumer finance headquarters.

"It just makes a lot of sense as the business grows over the

years," Scredon said.

The major unit in the division is EquiCredit Corp., a consumer

finance company owned by Barnett. EquiCredit has 158 offices in

43 states and about 1,000 employees in Jacksonville.

Other units in the consumer finance group will include

NationsCredit Consumer Corp., which will continue to be based in

Dallas, and Oxford Resources Inc. …