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Citigroup to cut 1,000 mortgage jobs, mostly in Las Vegas

A Citi sign is seen at the Citigroup stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A Citi sign is seen at the Citigroup stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc said it is eliminating about 1,000 jobs in its U.S. home mortgage business, making it the latest bank to lay off staff as higher interest rates cut into demand for new loans and refinancing.

The bank is cutting about 8 percent of the 13,000 jobs in its mortgage division, with most of the cuts - about 760 - taking place in Las Vegas.

Banks including Wells Fargo & Co , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America have announced thousands of layoffs in their home lending units in recent weeks.

With mortgage rates having risen to their highest in two years, applications to refinance home loans plunged in early September to their lowest in nearly four years.

Citigroup has a small residential mortgage lending business compared with its peers. The third-largest U.S. bank overall by assets was the sixth-largest mortgage lender in the first half of the year, capturing only 3.9 percent of the mortgage market compared to 22.5 percent for Wells Fargo and 10.9 percent for JPMorgan, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry publication.

Roughly 800 of the jobs being eliminated are in sales, underwriting and fulfillment and reflect reduced demand for loans. Another 200 jobs are being cut because the company has less work to do on defaults because of higher house prices and fewer delinquencies, a person familiar with the matter said.

In addition to the jobs in Las Vegas, the bank is cutting about 100 in Irving, Texas, the person said.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Gary Hill and Ken Wills)

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