MBA Cuts 20 Staffers
The Mortgage Bankers Association on Monday laid off about 16% of its workforce - about 20 full-timers - including four of its vice presidents. A spokeswoman for the trade group said the layoffs "were across the board" affecting all of its departments, including communications, government, marketing and research. Since last year MBA has lost about 30% of its staff. After the cutbacks the organization will employ about 110. Recently, mortgage technology vendors said MBA would eliminate its annual technology trade show to save money, but the spokeswoman shot down such talk in part. It is unlikely the MBA will hold a standalone technology show, but rather fold technology into its other shows or do smaller regional technology shows. Its membership ranks have been hurt by the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression, resulting in hundreds of non-banks and depositories closing their doors over the past 18 months. The trade group has been criticized by members and past employees for two large, somewhat recent blunders: building a new $100 million headquarters in Washington and then struggling to lease out its empty floors. It also merged with a subprime lending trade group, most of whose lending members have failed. Discussing the office building, one former MBA executive said, "They basically traded paying the rent for bodies." The executive, requesting anonymity, said the staff cuts "will impact a lot of long-term projects they have."