Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is undergoing a time of massive change, with the company shedding hundreds of jobs across the U.S. while it is still attempting to recover from the hit it took earlier this year when it was revealed that Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. when it comes to assets, with over $1.44 trillion, was preying upon customers by creating fake and unauthorized accounts for customers.
The Wells Fargo layoffs in 2017 have spread far and wide across the company. Wells Fargo call centers, the Wells Fargo home mortgage division, and Wells Fargo retail services have all been subject to the axe this year. The bank has also maintained a muted 2017 on the stock market, failing to rise above one percent in gains.
Overall, the bank finds itself floundering with bad press and lower fees from services. The Wells Fargo layoffs in 2017 are seen as a hurried attempt to reduce costs and right the ship.
The company announced in May that the bank would undergo a second round of $2.0 billion worth of cuts.
Wells Fargo Eliminates 532 Call Center Jobs in Lehigh Valley & Vancouver
The sector that has faced the highest number of cuts, Wells Fargo call center layoffs have amounted to over 500 people losing their jobs in 2017.
About 460 employees were cut from the call center at 1015 Club Avenue in Lehigh Valley, PA. The move will cut nearly half of the local workforce. This makes the Wells Fargo layoffs in October 2017 some of the largest yet.
The Wells Fargo job cuts were reportedly motivated by an increasing reliance on self-banking and automated voice software that was negating the need for an active call center.
The jobs originated from a location of Wells Fargo near Allentown back in 2008. In March 2011, the bank had closed and eliminated 193 jobs at the same location, though those cuts came out of the auto finance collections group.
Reports say that the cuts had nothing to do with the recent national scandal involving the fake accounts for customers.
The bank’s profits fell nearly 19% to $4.57 billion during the third quarter, down from $5.64 billion during the same period in 2016, while revenue also took a two-percent hit, dropping to $2.1 billion.
In the Lehigh Valley area, the bank employs about 1,000 people including the 460 employees that were removed.
In Vancouver, WA, Wells Fargo job cuts hit 72 employees at its call center, citing a fall in customers calling to restructure their mortgages, therefore decreasing worker demand.
Calls from Wells Fargo customers looking to restructure their mortgages have sunk, and so too has the demand for people who handle those calls. This represents a sharp reduction for the Wells Fargo Portland workers.
Wells Fargo Lays Off Over 160 from Home Mortgage Division in Charlotte & Des Moines
The Wells Fargo layoffs in September 2017 hit Charlotte, targeting its home mortgage division with an undisclosed amount, coming after the company had already announced about 120 layoffs in Fort Mill, S.C.
Wells Fargo home mortgage layoffs did not contain themselves within South Carolina, however, extending to the Des Moines-area this summer. A total of 40 workers were culled by the company.
The Wells Fargo job cuts in Des Moines are especially worrying as the bank employs about 14,500 people in the area, the single largest employer in the metro area. If more Wells Fargo layoffs in 2017 hit the city, that could result in a severe threat to the local economy.
Wells Fargo Cuts 70 Executive Jobs from Retail Unit After Account Scandal
The scandal over the fake accounts most directly impacted management, with over 70 executive jobs being cut following the scandal.
The Wells Fargo retail services layoffs followed an effort to regain the public’s trust by cutting many of the higher-ups in the division. The cuts reduce the number of regional and area presidents to 91, said Senior Executive Vice President Mary Mack in a statement.
“Change is hard, yet change is necessary to make sure we are well positioned for the future,” Mack wrote. “In order to truly be better, we must put the right structure in place,” she added.
The bank was slapped with a $185.0-million fine after the fake account scheme was exposed. All told, as many as 500,000 auto insurance customers were affected.
This amounts to some of the larger Wells Fargo layoffs in July.
“Wells Fargo closing Lehigh Valley call center, cutting 460 jobs,” The Morning Call, October 17, 2017.
“Wells Fargo to close Vancouver call center,” The Columbian, August 10, 2017.
“Wells Fargo lays off 40 from home mortgage division,” The Des Moines Register, August 10, 2017.
“Wells Fargo cuts more jobs in Charlotte,” The Charlotte Observer, September 22, 2017.
“Wells Fargo Cuts 70 Senior Managers in Retail Bank After Accounts Scandal,” Bloomberg, July 28, 2017.