Fleet to Close 34 Branches In Connecticut
Fleet/Norstar Financial Group said it will close 34 branches of the Connecticut Bank and Trust unit of failed Bank of New England Corp. by yearend.
The cuts will affect 300 Connecticut Bank and Trust employees. Fleet will attempt to place the employees in its remaining 139 branches in the state and does not anticipate heavy layoffs, said company spokesman Charles Conway.
More branch cuts and layoffs are likely next year, analysts say. Fleet announced job cuts of 1,000 from planned back-office consolidations by the end of 1992.
Layoffs a Sensitive Issue
"They'll probably have to cut more," said Nancy Bush, an analyst for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. "Right now, they're going about it slowly. Cutting jobs is a hotcake of an issue in New England."
In April, Fleet won the bidding war to buy three Bank of New England Corp. subsidiaries from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The Federal Reserve Board approved the acquisition on July 1, and the deal is expected to close in late July.
Analysts expect Fleet to earn about $22 million, or 20 cents a share, in the second quarter and do not foresee a rise in nonperforming loans.