News Column

BB&T to Create 1,700 Jobs in Greensboro

Oct.16, 2012

Richard Craver

BB&T Corp. said today it will create 1,700 new jobs over five years as part of opening a large back-office operation near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

The bank has signed a seven-year sublease to take over the former American Express Co. call center, a 390,000-square-foot building at 7701 Airport Center Drive in Greensboro.

BB&T Triad Corporate Center eventually will hold up to 2,500 employees, primarily working in back office, administrative and support functions.

BB&T expects to begin moving into the new facility by the year's end with between 50 and 100 employees.

Chris Henson, the bank's chief operating officer, said internal growth in recent years is the primary reason for the new center.

For example, on Monday, BB&T was listed in a SNL Financial report as having the 10th largest gain in national deposits market share, going from 1.53 percent market share to 1.83 percent, or from $76.3 billion to $103 billion.

BB&T's jump came primarily from its August 2009 takeover of Colonial Bank in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"The new BB&T Triad Corporate Center allows us to consolidate offices, many of which are nearing capacity, in a central location and provide space for future expansion," Henson said.

"The central location of this facility to Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point make it an excellent site for our existing and future associates and underscores our commitment to the Triad."

Henson said BB&T did not request, nor was it offered, any economic-development incentives as part of the expansion.

The facility became available in late 2011 when American Express completed the closing of its call center. About 1,500 of its 1,900 employees were let go, although the company enabled 400 to work from home.

That closing was considered as the largest commuter job cut in Triad history, because nearly half of the workforce lived outside Guilford County, primarily in Forsyth County.

The decision to close the 403,000-square-foot center was as much about real-estate consolidation as reducing employment, American Express officials said in January 2011, when they made the closing announcement.

The Greensboro operations are being moved into centers in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Source: (c)2012 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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