BB&T will dismiss most of a 21-person small-business lending group who had been employed by Susquehanna Bancshares.

The $191 billion-asset BB&T, of Winston-Salem, N.C., acquired the $18.7 billion-asset Susquehanna, of Lititz, Pa., on Aug. 1.

Eight members of the team were offered positions with BB&T and only four accepted, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. Lynn Ozer, who led the team at Susquehanna, also will not join BB&T.

BB&T's decision stems from its plan to reduce back-office staff and focus on customer-facing employees, Ozer told the Business Journal. The 13 Susquehanna employees not offered jobs included underwriters, closers and portfolio managers, Ozer said.

Additionally, the cuts stemmed from differences in lending approaches; BB&T centralized its lending process in North Carolina, said Ozer, a former chair of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders.

"They just don't handle SBA lending the same way we did," she told the publication. "So they don't need the same employment structure."

BB&T remains committed to its small business clients and SBA lending "now and for the long-term," the company said in a statement emailed to American Banker.

BB&T expects to retain "high-performing, direct client-facing associates and revenue producers" while it consolidates back-office operations.

"We recognize that this can be a very challenging time for some of our valued Susquehanna associates," BB&T said in its statement.

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