BB&T Corp. confirmed Friday that it cut some of its Charlotte-area workforce during the third quarter as it reduced headcount companywide by 800 in the period.
The Winston-Salem lender declined to disclose the exact amount of jobs lost in the Charlotte region but told the Observer it was a “small percentage.”
BB&T disclosed the elimination of 800 full-time equivalents on Thursday as it reported its third-quarter earnings. The regional lender said the cuts were part of an effort to lower its expenses. It said attrition was a major source of the cuts.
The cuts come as investors are paying close attention to BB&T’s expenses, which CEO Kelly King on Thursday said “shot up” last year.
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King, speaking on an earnings call with analysts, said it is challenging for banks to lower expenses today.
“I will be very honest,” he said. “It’s a really difficult environment, because we are having to invest a lot in technology and regulatory systems and process changes.”
BB&T is the third-largest lender by market share in the Charlotte region.
Its third-quarter expenses were higher than some analysts expected. BB&T reported $1.6 billion in non-interest expenses, up by $85 million from a year ago. The lender attributed the increase largely to the early elimination of debt.
Its non-interest expenses were also higher last year compared with the year before. Those increases were partly from a restructuring of BB&T’s banking network. They also stemmed from BB&T’s acquisition of insurance businesses from New Jersey-based Crump Group as well as its acquisition of Florida’s BankAtlantic – both deals that took place in 2012.
On Thursday, BB&T said it expects its expenses to decline, in part from lower personnel and legal costs. The elimination of the 800 positions helped lower personnel expenses in the recent third quarter by $14 million, it said.
Despite the higher expenses, BB&T reported making profit of $520 million in the quarter, up from $268 million in profit the same quarter last year.
BB&T employs roughly 1,900 people in the Charlotte area across various business lines.