USAA, the San Antonio-based financial services provider to the military, announced Thursday it is eliminating 265 jobs in its banking division.

The job cuts will occur in mid-November and affect employees within the company’s real estate lending operations in San Antonio, Phoenix, and Tampa, Florida. About 100 workers already have been offered other positions.

Of the jobs eliminated, more than 100 are positions in San Antonio in real estate lending and what is known as USAA Bank’s Real Estate Rewards Network, which handles home mortgages and supports USAA members during the home buying and selling process.

A statement from USAA said the company is providing affected employees transition services, including help with résumés and interview skills, and giving them 60 days to find other jobs within the company.

There are 269 job listings online for USAA’s San Antonio offices, which includes its main campus on the far North Side as well as newer downtown locations. Only two of those openings are in banking, however.

Employees who do not accept a new position at USAA within 60 days will receive a severance offer and outplacement services to assist with their job search. The deadline is just weeks before the company’s annual holiday bonus is traditionally dispensed.

“This decision was difficult, as we value our employees and appreciate that they go above and beyond for our members every day,” said USAA Bank President Chad Borton. “However, it was necessary as we focus on continuing to provide our members competitive mortgage products today and in the future.”

USAA, which is worth more than $28 billion, named Borton president of USAA Bank in April 2017 after its former top executive, Jaime Warder, left in November 2016 after less than two years on the job.

The most recent significant layoffs at USAA came in 2015, when the company cut about 100 jobs in its Addison, Texas, location. In 2001, the company eliminated 1,370 jobs in a restructuring that affected mostly San Antonio employees. USAA currently has a total of 30,300 employees.

The latest layoffs come amid a summer slowdown in the mortgage lending market and weakening home sales. Bankrate reported Thursday that mortgage rates have reached their highest point in seven years as the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate surged 10 basis points to 4.88 percent from 4.78 percent over the previous week.

Though mortgage applications ticked up 1.6 percent for the week ending Sept. 14, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey, that marks just the second time in two months that applications have increased, mostly due to a jump in refinance applications.

USAA is the nation’s fifth-largest homeowner insurer, based on direct written premiums in 2016, and it’s the business it is perhaps best known for. But customer service complaints about the company’s real estate lending services from the bank are frequent on USAA’s “member community” site.

In promoting the service, however, USAA’s website states that 92 percent of members who have used its Real Estate Rewards Network would recommend it to others.

A 2018 Bank RepTrak study ranked the USAA Bank as the most reputable bank among customers and non-customers. The study, a partnership between Reputation Institute and American Banker, first ranked USAA in 2017, when it came in first among customers and second for excellent overall reputation in the United States.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the business beat reporter at the San Antonio Report.