Wells Fargo Announces 460 Job Cuts in Bethlehem
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is continuing to shed more jobs this year. This time, another of its call centers has been hit with fresh job cuts.
America’s third-largest bank has a significant presence in Lehigh Valley, where the latest string of layoffs has been announced. Wells Fargo is cutting 460 jobs at its call center in Bethlehem which will slash its total workforce in Lehigh Valley to about half.
A company spokesperson has confirmed that the bank is permanently closing its Lehigh Valley call center and laying off all 460 of the associated employees. The company has given the employees a 60-day notice. They will be working the next 15 days after which they will be free to look for jobs elsewhere.
Wells Fargo has about 60 branches in the region and employed about 1,000 employees prior to the job cuts.
According to a company spokesperson, the decision to close the location comes as the volume of direct calls to the call center declined.
This is the second time this year that we are hearing of a Wells Fargo call center closing and the bank’s telephonic customer service agents losing their jobs. Just last month, Wells Fargo closed a call center in Fort Mill, South Carolina and killed about 120 jobs. A similar justification was given for those layoffs as well.
Call centers are seeing a drop in calls as customers turn to self-serve digital tools to get assistance or answers to their queries. Banks are beginning to employ next-generation technology like artificial intelligence to better understand their customers and deliver better online services. All major American banks are now investing to improve their digital presence as online banking becomes more popular.
Wells Fargo has likewise undertaken an initiative called “Change for Better” to rebuild a rapport with its clients after they lost their trust in the bank following the fake accounts scandal.
As part of the initiative, the bank is not only trying to improve its image, but also changing its organizational structure. The bank is digitizing many of its operations, as well as closing hundreds of its underperforming branches and cutting bureaucratic layers from its hierarchy.
The latest call center closure also fits the bank’s purpose of ridding itself of redundant operations and focusing on areas of growth. The 460 employees are, however, left in the lurch now, as the bank employs technology to replace their jobs.
“Wells Fargo closing Bethlehem call center, cutting 460 jobs,” Lehigh Valley Business, October 17, 2017.
“Wells Fargo closing Lehigh Valley call center, cutting 460 jobs,” The Morning Call, October 17, 2017.