Sumitomo Bank Ltd.'s scaled-back New York loan syndication team is losing one of its two remaining members to Dresdner Bank AG.

The Japanese bank cut its syndications team to two from six last November in a restructuring. Two members of the group were laid off, and two more were reassigned to other units within the bank.

"The function of providing underwriting has been simplified and is performing more efficiently," said a Sumitomo spokesman. He said the departing sales vice president, Kathy Bennett, will be replaced and the unit will continue operations uninterrupted.

Dresdner Bank would not comment on Ms. Bennett's hiring.

Sumitomo ranked 23d last year on the league tables for agent and co- agent syndicated lending, with volume of $108.8 billion for 65 deals. That was down slightly from the previous year's volume of $114.6 billion for 74 deals, according to Loan Pricing Corp.

Market sources said that despite Sumitomo's large financial presence in the United States, its syndications unit never led many transactions. Instead, it participated in loans-a function that doesn't require a large research or sales staff.

Since underwriting and credit decisions are made by other units of the bank, "a large, centralized syndications operation is redundant," said Sumitomo's spokesman. "For example, on a real estate credit, our thought is that the real estate people understand the transaction better than the syndications people."

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