Union moving mortgage office to Innsbrook; adding jobs

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This week, Union First Market Bankshares announced that it plans to buy StellarOne Bank. Now Union is making another move and it's creating jobs.

Now that the housing market is starting to bounce back from the recession, Union First Market Bank says it needs more staff to process mortgages. And it's moving its mortgage operations from Annandale in Northern Virginia to an office in Innsbrook.

"We made a change in the management team there in the fall of last year. Most of the senior management team is Richmond based and we're just moving those back office and support functions to Richmond to align them with the management team," explained Union CEO Billy Beale.

Beale said they're adding about 25 more positions, including he says, "loan processors, loan underwriters, post closing and support, which are the people that have to deal with all the paperwork and shift it off to investors, secondary market functions which are the individuals who work with our investors on pricing."

This is all part of Union's plans to grow. Union bought First Market Bank in 2010. Now it's planning to buy StellarOne.

To fill the 25 additional jobs in the new mortgage office, "There will be some people that will come from StellarOne, some jobs that will transfer from Annandale, and some we will hire from the Richmond market," Beale said.

These new positions come while Beale says the merger will cause some other jobs to be cut. Union and StellarOne have some duplicate positions, and both have branches in certain cities. Beale says more than 10 branches will close.

"We have duplication in Richmond, we have duplication in Fredericksburg, we have duplication in Charlottesville, we have overlap in Harrisonburg," said Beale.

Beale says they haven't yet determined how many jobs will have to be cut and hopes to eliminate them through attrition over the next year, as he said Union did when it merged with First Market Bank.

Meantime, hiring for the new mortgage office in Innsbrook is now underway.

"The hiring process is starting and ongoing today and it will continue to progress between now and the end of year," he said.

Interested candidates can apply through the Union First Market Bankshares website.

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