(Beachwood) - About 1,000 local Bank of America workers may be looking for jobs. The company is closing two Cleveland-area locations dealing with home loan fulfillment and consumer banking services.

Bank of America issued the following statement about the closings:

“We continue to reduce the size of our mortgage servicing operations in line with the successful reduction of our portfolio of delinquent mortgage customers. Compared to peak levels in 2011, today we have fewer than one-third the numbers of customers who need the specialized programs and support of this team. These actions also reflect our ongoing efforts to streamline our facilities and align our cost structure with market realities, including declining refinance volume resulting from rising interest rates.

Bank of America has a strong track record for helping our employees identify opportunities both inside and outside of the bank and we are working closely with leaders in the community to support a smooth transition. We remain committed to Ohio and continue to refine our business model to account for changes in the marketplace to both preserve our presence and plan for the future."

The sites will close by Oct. 31. There are more than 1,000 workers at the Beachwood location and about 55 in Independence. Another 100 people will be affected by a closing in Cincinnati.

Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden confirmed the closing, “We were contacted today by Bank of America representatives.  They indicated that with the increase in interest rates, their home loan and refinancing applications are down substantially, and that as a result, there were pending layoffs in multiple cities and states housing this line of business, including ours. 

“While we are always very disappointed to hear of any job cuts, we view this as a temporary setback," said Gordon. "The Cleveland Clinic owns the two buildings housing the affected Bank of America facilities.  The Cleveland Clinic has thriving operations in Beachwood and we are optimistic that they might be able to expand into this space.  As such, we will engage very soon in conversations with the Cleveland Clinic to review the feasibility of that, and also to determine whether there could be a plan to transfer some of the affected employees into any new jobs that are created." 

Bank of America will assist employees in retaining and relocating any remaining employees by finding them more appropriate space that will be competitive and keep them in the area.

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