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Santander Consumer USA closing down its Centennial office, cutting over 400 jobs

Santander Consumer USA closing down its Centennial office,
cutting over 400 jobs 1

Auto lender Santander Consumer USA told the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment on Tuesday that it will permanently close its Centennial office and eliminate 417 jobs in the state as part of a larger restructuring.

“All affected employees were notified on or before March 10, 2021, and the complete closure of the site is anticipated to take place on or around December 31, 2021,” Breyana Penn, manager of employee relations at the company, wrote in a letter filed with the state under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The largest number of jobs being eliminated, 126, are senior collection representatives, followed by 72 customer service representatives, 58 collections representatives and 29 senior specialists in account services, the company said in its letter.

Penn said the employees losing their jobs may be eligible to fill vacancies at other locations within the company and may be eligible for separation pay and benefits under the company’s severance policy.

Last October, Santander Consumer USA, which is based in Dallas, said it would open a new location in Odessa, Fla., in 2021, bringing 850 jobs to the area. The company did not link the closure of the Centennial office to the opening of the new Florida office. But a spokeswoman did mention a lack of adequate space at the metro Denver office.

“After much consideration and review of factors including geographic distribution of servicing and collection coverage across time zones, as well as the need for additional space to accommodate a growing business, we made the strategic decision to not renew our lease,” Laurie Kight, company spokeswoman, said in an email.

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Santander Consumer USA is part of Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A., which has 146 million customers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Santander Consumer USA, which has 3.1 million customers and $64 billion in managed assets, has come under fire for its debt collection and loan underwriting practices.

A coalition of 34 state attorneys general, not including Colorado, recently reached a settlement with the company over its subprime auto loans. Among the allegations were that the lender didn’t properly consider a borrower’s ability to repay a loan when extending credit, and then engaged in aggressive collection practices when they fell behind.

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