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Citi to cut 121 local jobs

December 06, 2008

HAGERSTOWN -- Citi announced Friday that it will lay off 121 employees at its Washington County facility in the first quarter of 2009. The number represents about 5 percent of the local work force.

"Most of these employees support our credit card business, and most of the positions are full-time positions," Citi spokeswoman Janis Tarter in California wrote in an e-mail.

The cuts are part of a larger reduction Citi disclosed Nov. 17. The banking company said then that it expects to cut more than 50,000 jobs worldwide in the coming quarters to deal with losses and debt.

Tarter wrote that Washington County's Citi facility, known for many years as Citicorp Credit Services, had about 2,300 employees at the end of the third quarter of this year.

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"At Citi, we strive to treat people with fairness and compassion. We are making every effort to work with affected employees to make this transition as easy as possible for them," Tarter wrote.

Timothy Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said Friday that businesses in Washington County are having to make some "very difficult decisions to stay open and remain profitable."

"Our agency is very concerned for the employees that are being negatively affected by the financial situation that we're all experiencing right now," Troxell said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to rehire these individuals once the economy improves."

Tarter wrote that "Our goal, as Citi CEO Vikram Pandit announced, is to have Citi's global headcount total approximately 300,000 in the first half of 2009.

"As of September 30, 2008, our headcount totaled 352,000, with more than half of our employees outside of the U.S."

She said the company would reach "half of our remaining headcount reduction target through divestitures -- including 18,000 positions previously identified and announced related to the sale of operations in Germany and India -- and the other half through attrition and layoffs."

-- Andrew Schotz and Dan Dearth

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