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Wells Fargo cuts more Charlotte mortgage jobs

Fewer Bank Failures
Matt Rourke - AP
Wells Fargo again posted record earnings in the third quarter.

Wells Fargo is laying off 925 employees in its mortgage unit, but only a small number in the Charlotte region, citing a slowdown in refinancing activity.

The layoffs are on top of other similar job cuts the company has made nationwide in recent months because of waning refinancing demand amid rising mortgage rates. In Charlotte, those include 150 announced in September and 284 in August.

Sixty-day notices were given on Wednesday to three employees in Charlotte and four in Fort Mill, S.C., Wells spokesman Josh Dunn said. He said he did not have details on which other U.S. markets were affected by the layoffs.

“This is just a continuation of revamping our mortgage team to fit the ... dropping mortgage demand,” Dunn said.

Last week, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan said the bank slashed 5,300 mortgage jobs in the third quarter as it reported lower mortgage profits. During the third quarter, its mortgage operation generated $1.6 billion in income, down 43 percent from $2.8 billion a year ago.

Overall, Wells had 270,600 employees at the end of September.

Other banks have also been shedding employees who process mortgage applications for refinancings. Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks said Tuesday it will eliminate 800 jobs nationwide, including an unspecific number in Charlotte. Bank of America also has cut mortgage-related jobs nationwide, including hundreds in Ohio in August. But only four positions in North Carolina were affected at that time, the bank said.

Mortgage rates are still near historic lows, but they are higher than they have been in recent years, and many borrowers have already refinanced at the lower rates. In September, rates were at 4.49 percent for the average 30-year fixed loan, up from 3.41 percent at the start of the year, according to Freddie Mac.

Wells Fargo will provide outplacement and job-search assistance to the employees, Dunn said.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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