Magazine article American Banker

Dime Job Cuts Show Touch of New Boss: Turnaround Artist Terracciano Delivers Expected Strategy

Magazine article American Banker

Dime Job Cuts Show Touch of New Boss: Turnaround Artist Terracciano Delivers Expected Strategy

Article excerpt

Dime Bancorp said Friday that it will eliminate 400 jobs, or 6% of its work force, and record $125 million in charges in a restructuring that bears the mark of new chairman Anthony P. Terracciano.

The company said it is taking "a series of actions" intended to slash expenses by $50 million. They include the sale of $2 billion of securities, mostly mortgage-backed, to reduce risk in its balance sheet.

Mr. Terracciano, who is known as a cost-cutter and turnaround artist from stints at Mellon Bank Corp. and First Fidelity Bancorp, was seen having a similar belt-tightening in mind when he joined Dime in July.

"These profit-improvement initiatives are designed to improve our productivity while positioning Dime to take full advantage of new technology to deliver a more extensive product set and higher levels of satisfaction to our customers," Mr. Terracciano said.

The job cuts are to come in the New York metropolitan area, about three-fourths in banking operations that do not have contact with customers and the rest in mortgage operations.

"This is an opportunity to improve productivity and customer service," Lawrence J. Toal, Dime's chief executive officer, said in an interview.

The securities sale, representing half of Dime's portfolio, is to result in a $87 million charge in the third quarter. The remaining $38 million of charges are for severance and other items.

The $25 billion-asset company is the latest to announce a restructuring this year. In August, Bank of America Corp. announced plans to eliminate 7% of its workforce. In July, First Union Corp. said it would cut 7% of its jobs, shut down its consumer finance unit, and sell off its credit card and mortgage servicing portfolios.

Investors and market watchers are also eagerly awaiting a restructuring announcement from KeyCorp.

Meanwhile, Dime continues to fend off a $1. …

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