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BANKING/ FINANCE : B of A Commercial Banking Activities to Be Grouped at Its Costa Mesa Office

Compiled by James S. Granelli, Times staff writer

Bank of America is consolidating three of its south county commercial banking activities into its Costa Mesa business banking office near South Coast Plaza.

The consolidation will give the bank two regional business banking offices catering to the needs of so-called middle-market companies: firms with sales of $10 million to $500 million.

“The location is in the center of our south county area, and we feel we can do our best job here rather than have operations scattered throughout the county,” said Walter S. Nielsen, the bank’s Costa Mesa vice president for commercial banking.

Business banking operations in Irvine, Newport Beach and Santa Ana will move to the five-story Costa Mesa office by mid-October, Nielsen said.

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The consolidation will not result in layoffs of the 42 employees who work in the offices, but some workers have left in the last year and won’t be replaced, he said.

In a corporate reorganization last year, B of A planned for 25 business banking centers. The plan included the opening of a new center at the bank’s Anaheim branch last year, Nielsen said.

He said the Costa Mesa consolidation should improve the bank’s ability to serve its commercial customers better, especially since most of the customers don’t go to the bank anyway. Bank employees usually handle transactions by driving to the customers’ offices, he said.


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