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Hagerstown Trust to eliminate 26 positions

May 16, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Trust announced Wednesday that the local bank is eliminating 26 behind-the-scenes positions at its main office in downtown Hagerstown as of Aug. 23, spokesman Dave Barnhart said.

The 26 full-time employees were told Wednesday, Barnhart said.

Most of the those workers conduct deposit or loan operations. Their duties include assembling statements, sorting checks, tracking loan payments and keeping loan paperwork up-to-date, Barnhart said.

None of the affected employees generally work directly with the public, he said.

Their work is being shifted to the East Petersburg, Pa., center of Hagerstown Trust's parent company, Lancaster, Pa.-based Fulton Financial Corp., Barnhart said. Hagerstown Trust is the last of Fulton's 11 bank affiliates to shift this work to East Petersburg or a center in New Jersey, he said.

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Fulton is consolidating that work to improve efficiency and continue a history of strong financial performance and returns for investors, Barnhart said.

"The Hagerstown Trust customer won't see these effects," Barnhart said. "The Hagerstown Trust customer is not going to see a difference in our quality of service."

If some of the 26 employees are willing to move to East Petersburg to work at that center, Hagerstown Trust will try to accommodate them, Barnhart said. He did not know whether they would have to apply for a job at that center.

The employees will be given severance packages and the bank will help their job search efforts, Barnhart said. Human Resource Department officials will help the employees create resumes and inform them of interview techniques.

They also will contact local businesses to find out if they are interested in hiring those workers, Barnhart said.

Barnhart would not divulge the salary range of the employees affected.

While Fulton's move toward consolidating back room operations hasn't been held secret, Barnhart said he was certain some employees felt surprised when the job cuts were announced.

Hagerstown Trust has 184 full- and part-time employees, Barnhart said. The bank has 14 branches in Washington County and a commercial banking office in Frederick, Md.

Among financial institutions, Hagerstown Trust holds the largest share of deposits in Washington County, Barnhart said. That was 22.32 percent as of June 30, 2001, the latest figures available, he said.

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