Magazine article American Banker

Seeking a Leaner Sheet, BankAtlantic Cuts Jobs

Magazine article American Banker

Seeking a Leaner Sheet, BankAtlantic Cuts Jobs

Article excerpt

BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc. cut 225 positions, or 8% of its staff, this week as part of an effort to cut costs at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company.

We have made a commitment to reduce overall expenses, Jarett S. Levan, the president of the $6.5 billion-asset BankAtlantic and the chief executive of its banking unit, said in an interview Wednesday.

In January it said it would reduce marketing costs by about 28%, to roughly $26 million, matching its 2005 advertising budget. Mr. Levan said that the cuts are ongoing, and that the layoffs are part of that initiative.

However, BankAtlantic is not done cutting expenses, he said. There will continue to be other measures throughout the course of the year, [though] nothing we are prepared to announce at this time.

Regarding the layoffs, he said, We don't believe we have to do this again.

The cuts, which were first reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, were made across BankAtlantic's entire operation, including its 93 bank branches. Mr. Levan said the employees were all informed Tuesday. He would not say how many were customer-facing staff members or how much the company expects to save, but he said that BankAtlantic would brief analysts about the financial impact during its first-quarter earnings report next month.

Albert Savastano, a Janney Montgomery Scott LLC analyst, wrote in a research note Wednesday that the measure could cut expenses by $8 million to $14 million.

BankAtlantic has battled rising expenses related to an aggressive growth strategy. …

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