Recent USAA employee reductions impact mortgage unit

USAA cut unspecified numbers of jobs in January. Some of the affected employees were in the company’s mortgage division. A spokesman for the Texas-based firm confirmed that the round of reductions took place but didn’t give any further details. In a written statement, Brad Russell, USAA’s spokesperson, stated that “To continue exceptional service to members, we sometimes have to make hard business decisions to ensure that we are adapting our members’ needs and changing in the marketplace.” Sometimes that means investing more in growth areas and scaling back, or stopping work in other areas. The changes in the mortgage market have been pronounced, with higher mortgage rates and economic uncertainty affecting the origination volume as well as the bottom line for companies in the sector. Numerous banks, nonbanks, and mortgage vendors have taken right-sizing steps to remain afloat. This is at least the second round of reductions at USAA. USAA Federal Savings Bank, its depository subsidiary, saw job losses in August. The reductions affected the company’s information technology and client advising divisions as well as its human resources divisions. Russell said that employees who are affected by the reductions are treated with dignity and care. He also supports them in finding a new job at USAA or another organization. Nearly 35,000 people are employed by the company, which is a financial services company that provides financial services to military families via an online platform. USAA is also actively hiring with more than 158 positions currently available via its website. USAA would be the top mortgage originator in terms customer service in 2022, according to the most recent J.D. Power survey. It received a 797, which is well above Rocket Mortgage’s score of 750. It was not eligible for ranking because it does not serve the general public. The company has been in trouble with federal regulators for years over risk-management issues. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently called the company out for discriminatory behavior in USAA’s Auto Lending Unit. A year prior, the OCC and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network hit the company with a $140 million penalty for failing to set up an adequate anti-money-laundering program and file timely reports on suspicious transactions.And in 2020, the OCC fined USAA $85 million for risk-management issues and for violating laws that protect military members from financial harm.