600 jobs available at area banks

Positions follow a slowly improving economy, officials say.

Most openings are for tellers, private bankers, consumer and mortgage loan officers and servicers, and operation jobs such as call center posi- tions. Banks employ tellers more than any other single job, an entry level position with promotion opportunities.

“On the retail side of things, there’s just a lot more roles based on the number of branches out there,” said Shawn Harter.

Harter is the director of talent acquisition for Fifth Third Bank. But the most challenging jobs to fill right now are in mortgage banking, especially mortgage underwriters that evaluate the risk of loans, Harter said. Applicants for mortgage banking jobs need experience in mortgage lending.

“Quite frankly in some of these mortgage roles right now, if that supply was out there, we’d capitalize on it.... All these banks are competing for the exact same people,” Harter said.

Fifth Third has an estimated 140 job openings in the Cincinnati-Dayton region at more than 150 branches, headquarters and within its other operations.

In direct response to demand created by low interest rates and a slowly improving economy, U.S. Bank said it’s beefing up staff to go after business in home loan refinancing, new home loans and consumer loans. Consumer loans include auto, boat and student loans, for example.

Foreclosures are still high, making up more than 3 percent of all home loans in the Dayton region in April, said CoreLogic.

At the same time, home sales have reached their highest levels in two years since the first time homebuyer tax credit was available in 2010, according to data from boards of Realtors.

Area unemployment rates are dropping.

“Our ability to hire follows the opportunity in the market,” said Michael Prescott, Cincinnati market president for U.S. Bank.

U.S. Bank said it has more than 230 local job openings, up 50 percent from the same time last year.

The Minneapolis, Minn.-based banking company has gained market share in the region in recent years, as the No. 1e bank by deposits in Cincinnati and No. 5 in Dayton.

“U.S. Bank has definitely been growing in the Southwest Ohio market and obviously when you’re growing, you need to add to your team,” Prescott said.

PNC’s Miamisburg mortgage center is hiring mortgage collectors, credit quality analysts and specialists to monitor and process foreclosures, according to online job listings.

PNC has a total 45 job listings in the Dayton area, most of which are for the mortgage business, according to a company spokesman.

Finance is a major industry in Southwest Ohio, claiming the headquarters of Fifth Third and First Financial Bank. Fifth Third also has call center, card production and mortgage banking operations located in Madisonville. U.S. Bank operates a major call center in Cincinnati, and other top headquarter functions.

Business and financial operations jobs, such as compliance officers, financial analysts and loan officers, comprised 5 percent of the Dayton metro’s total employment in 2011, according to the latest figures on occupations and wages released in June by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That equals more than 18,000 jobs with an average hourly wage of $32.06, not including management, according to labor statistics.

The Cincinnati-Middletown metro region has another 50,000 of the same jobs with an average hourly wage of $31.30, according to the labor department.

Just Fifth Third, Huntington, First Financial and U.S. Bank employ a combined 12,100 people in the region of Northern Kentucky to Springfield, according to the companies. PNC did not disclose its employment figures for the area.

More than half of Columbus-based Huntington Bank’s 30 open positions in the region are for tellers, bankers and managers at its retail sites, according to spokesman Brent Wilder.

“We don’t anticipate any special hiring plans for the remainder of the year. The focus will be on replacement for attrition. A continuing low interest rate environment may drive further need for additional mortgage bankers, but it’s too soon to tell,” Wilder said.

Cleveland-based KeyBank does not have many job openings in Southwest Ohio right now, according to spokesman Dan Davis.

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2551 or clevingston@coxohio.com.

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