ABN-Amro Sees Few Cuts at Talman
CHICAGO - The head of ABN-Amro Holding's U.S. subsidiary said he plans to eliminate few jobs at Talman Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, which the Dutch company acquired this week.
Harrison Tempest, chief executive officer of ABN-Amro North America Inc., said in an interview that with increased capital, Talman can pursue growth opportunities that will allow it to maintain much of its expense base.
Few of Talman's operations overlap with ABN-Amro's LaSalle National Corp., he said.
ABN-Amro agreed to pay $97 million in cash, or $10 a share, to acquire Talman, which has $5.86 billion in assets. In addition, the Dutch banking company agreed to inject $300 million in capital into Talman, bringing it into regulatory compliance.
Mr. Tempest said certain of Talman's data-processing and accounting operations would be combined with those of LaSalle, but he did not expect a significant reduction in Talman's 2,000 employees or closure of branch offices.
Some reduction would occur through attrition, he added.
"We'd rather grow into our expense base than lop off heads," Mr. Tempest said.
Talman, the largest home mortgage lender in the Chicago area, will be combined with LaSalle National's $2.65 billion-asset community banking group, he said. But most operations of the two institutions will remain separate for the near future, he added.
Talman's growth was constrained because of capital constraints," he said. "The government changed the rules on them for what counts as capital."
With the capital infusion, he said, Talman will work to increase its share of the home mortgage market and increase other consumer lending, such as home equity and automobile loans.
LaSalle's 17-office community banking group did not do much home mortgage lending, so the addition of Talman will diversify ABN-Amro's Chicago-area assets, Mr. Tempest said.
Talman, which has a relatively clean loan portfolio, also will bring growth opportunities in fee income from mortgage servicing and retail insurance operations, he added.