Wells Fargo said Wednesday it is laying off 132 employees in the Charlotte metropolitan area, the latest example of the lender cutting its mortgage operation.
San Francisco-based Wells said the cuts come as the lender continues to see improvements in home-loan delinquency and foreclosure rates, as well as falling consumer demand to refinance mortgages. Wells Fargo has cited similar reasons in announcing other rounds of mortgage cuts this year in the Charlotte area.
In all, the largest U.S. mortgage lender said it would on Wednesday inform 490 mortgage employees nationwide that they will be laid off. Employees were being given 60 days’ notice, the lender said.
In the Charlotte area, 127 of the cuts are being made in Fort Mill, S.C., where Wells Fargo has a mortgage operation off Carowinds Boulevard. Five layoffs affected the city of Charlotte.
Statewide, including the Charlotte-area figures, the lender is laying off 161. That number includes six employees in Raleigh and 23 mortgage “field reps” around the state.
An additional three “field reps” across South Carolina were also laid off Wednesday.
“The decision to reduce our workforce is made with great concern for the team members who are affected,” spokesman Josh Dunn said in a statement. “Wells Fargo is committed to retaining valued team members and, where possible, we will work to identify other opportunities within Wells Fargo.”
This year alone, Wells Fargo has laid off hundreds of mortgage employees in the Charlotte region, in addition to similar layoffs the lender has made nationwide. The cuts continue a trend in which Wells Fargo and other lenders have reduced mortgage staffing in recent years.
Lenders said they have made those trims in response to higher mortgage rates causing declines in their refinancing business. In addition, lenders said they have cut employees who worked with troubled borrowers as fewer fall behind on their home loans.
Wells Fargo employees affected by Wednesday’s announcement are eligible to receive pay and benefits through Dec. 19, Dunn said.
The lender employs roughly 23,600 in the Charlotte metropolitan area, its biggest employment hub.