Wells Fargo Layoffs Affecting from U.S. Call Centers
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) layoffs are leaving hundreds of Americans out of work as the leading American bank moves jobs to the Philippines.
In a Senate hearing on the fake accounts scandal last week, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan confessed that the bank has been cutting U.S. call center jobs while adding to its workforce in the Asian country.
Wells Fargo’s workforce in the Philippines has grown from a modest 100 employees to a staggering 4,000 within the past six years. The bank’s future plans include further expanding its Filipino operations, including a new location which could house more than 7,000 employees.
Meanwhile, here in America, call center representatives are fearful of losing their jobs in the bank’s overseas expansion. And rightly so, because Wells Fargo has been closing U.S.-based call centers and laying off employees this year.
We’ve reported of at least two call center closures this year which have jointly led to more than 600 layoffs of the bank’s American employees. Just last week, the San Francisco-based bank closed a call center in Lehigh Valley causing 460 employees to face layoffs. Last month, another of its call centers was closed in Fort Mill, South Carolina, where about 120 call center representatives lost their jobs.
CEO Defends Wells Fargo Layoffs
Wells Fargo defends these layoffs saying they have been a result of declining call volumes. However, hiring of more and more call center agents in Philippines negates management’s narrative.
When questioned by the Senate committee on the issue of Wells Fargo jobs leaving America, CEO Tim Sloan provided a weak justification.
Sloan said that the U.S. job cuts could not be tied to hirings in the Philippines. He added that the Filipino call center jobs were part of the company’s strategy to provide round-the-clock service to customers. Due to the time difference, the agents in the Asian country could provide a 24-hour workday and cater to Wells Fargo’s global clients.
The Senate committee, however, did not buy the CEO’s justification. The committee argued that the bank could hire Americans on night shifts. The CEO was also reminded that the bank draws nearly 90% of its revenue from its American customers.
Companies move jobs offshore to save on costs. Regardless of the CEO’s claims, the fact remains that hiring in the Philippines is much cheaper for the bank.
Wells Fargo has axed hundreds of U.S. jobs this year in a strategic move to slash its costs. The bank has lost both customer trust and millions in customer business following the fake accounts scandal and is under pressure to control its costs.
“Now hiring — Wells Fargo seeks overseas call center workers as it slashes US jobs,” The Charlotte Observer, October 19, 2017.