A feud that has been simmering since NationsBank Corp. acquired Dallas- based First RepublicBank Corp. in 1988 has erupted again following the elimination of nearly 100 jobs at the North Carolina bank's Texas operation.
The layoffs in the benefits and retail collection units of its Texas bank are part of NationsBank's effort to reduce noninterest expenses, said Frank Anderson, an analyst with Stephens Inc.
"They're going through a complete rationalization of their cost structure," said Mr. Anderson. "They are currently reviewing every facet of their operations to see what is the best way of doing things."
But the latest job eliminations have opened old wounds between the Charlotte-based company and its Texas employees.
"We were told that Dallas would be the center for the company's westward expansion," said an employee who wished to remain anonymous. "We kept being promised that this was a Texas bank and that it would stay that way. But it is not."
According to Jamie Pickrell, a NationsBank spokeswoman, 10 positions were cut from the bank's benefits area. She said all these employees were placed in new positions within the bank.
In early March, though, the bank told the 93 employees in its retail collection unit in Dallas that their jobs were being consolidated into the company's Greensboro, N.C., office. So far, only two of these employees have found new work with NationsBank.
The NationsBank employee said the company was moving the operations to save about $2 million a year in personnel costs.
"We have made the Texas bank very profitable," the employee said. "We were told we were being dismissed because we did such a good job that it was easy to move everything to North Carolina."
Ms. Pickrell denied that the cuts signal any moves to reduce the importance of its Texas operation. Instead, they are part of a continual process of realignment designed to improve the company's efficiency along product lines. "We are constantly making changes and shifting jobs around the franchise in an effort to become more efficient," she said.
She added that the bank is also moving some jobs into Texas.