JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is laying off roughly 600 mortgage banking employees in Colorado and South Carolina, according to local news reports.
WMBF News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., reported on its website Thursday that Chase is laying off 450 people in Florence, S.C., and closing its office there. Meanwhile, the Denver Business Journal is reporting that Chase is eliminating 150 employees in Englewood, Colo.
The layoffs are in response to slackening refinancing demand and a slowdown in defaults, which has lessened the need for servicing troubled loans.
"We are responding to our customers changing needs," says Chase spokesperson Amy Bonibatius. "Fewer homeowners are struggling with their mortgages and many people have already refinanced, taking advantage of the stronger economy and historically low rates. We will work with affected employees to find openings at Chase or other local companies."
The layoffs are part of broader cutbacks announced by Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon in February. Chase plans to wipe out a total of 17,000 jobs, many of them in its mortgage servicing departments, by the end of 2014.
Other large mortgage lenders, including Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) have also recently announced layoffs resulting from the slowdown in refis and loan defaults.