Schwab Closes Call Center, Cuts 375

Stockbroker Charles Schwab Corp. plans to close its inbound customer service center in Austin, TX, eliminating 300 positions there and shaving 75 more employees at other company customer service centers.

Schwab said it began notifying employees of the impending job cuts yesterday. The company said it expected the downsizing to cost $36 million in third-quarter 2002 and would save Schwab $26 million per year in operating expenses starting in 2003.

The four other customer service centers affected by the cuts are in Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Orlando, FL.

According to Schwab, the stockbroker will consider further cost-cutting measures, including more staff cuts, over the next 30 to 60 days in an effort to reduce its annual expenses by $200 million. The number of jobs that will be eliminated has not yet been determined, Schwab said.

Schwab has eliminated 7,200 jobs since the end of 2000. As of June 30, it employed 19,100 workers.

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