Marine to Wrap Up Restructuring By Laying Off 4% of Work Force

In what is being called the final phase of its two-year restructuring, ailing Marine Midland Banks Inc. is laying off 412 employees, or 4% of its work force, the company announced late Tuesday.

The move is mostly designed to streamline management by consolidating the bank's three main activities - regional banking, commercial lending, and consumer finance - into three sectors, said Patricia Coate, a spokeswoman.

Previously, those areas had been more decentralized, with layers of management for each function in each of the bank's markets.

Across-the-Board Cuts

The company, which is based in Buffalo and has $17 billion in assets, said the job cuts would affect corporate, staff, and line functions across the bank and throughout the state.

Ms. Coate indicated that the company has no further restructuring plans.

Analysts said Marine probably would not return to profitability before 1993. It has been severely hurt by souring real estate loans and has been shrinking dramatically in the past two years in an effort to boost its capital ratios, refocus its business, and return to profitability.

Nonperforming assets are 10% of total loans. The bank lost $295 million in 1990 and has already lost $109 million this year. Analysts said the company will, at best, break even next year.

Marine is lucky in some respects, analysts said. Its parent, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. unit of HSBC Holdings, has deep pockets and has committed itself to turning the bank around. Last year it injected $300 million in capital, and in June it brought in a new chairman, John R.H. Bond, to replace Geoffrey Thompson.

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