Wells Fargo layoffs begin hitting Charlotte area under major job-cutting plan

Wells Fargo said Thursday it is cutting 116 jobs from the Charlotte metro area as part of previously announced plans to cut the bank’s total workforce by 5 to 10 percent over the next three years.

Thursday’s cuts were part of 1,000 announced nationwide, the San Francisco-based bank said. Those affected work in the bank’s consumer lending group and its payments, virtual solutions and innovations group, Wells said.

Of the Charlotte-area cuts, 111 are in the bank’s mortgage-servicing operation in Fort Mill, the bank said. Wells did not specify where the other five work in the region but said they are in various home-lending and virtual solutions and innovations groups in other locations.

Wells Fargo unveiled the job-cutting plan in September. At the time, it said the initiative was designed to streamline the bank and make it more customer-focused.

Wells Fargo employs about 25,000 in the metro area, its largest employment hub.

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“These changes are consistent with a larger transformation effort ... to focus our business on evolving customer preferences, the accelerating adoption of digital self-service capabilities, and operational excellence and efficiency,” Wells said in a statement Thursday.

“This very difficult decision was made following much thought and careful consideration and in no way reflects the quality or performance of these team members,” the bank said.

It added that the Charlotte metro area will continue to be home to Wells’ largest workforce concentration and that it has nearly 1,000 open positions in the region.

The cuts come as Wells continues pushing to fix its reputation in the wake of a 2016 scandal involving the creation of unauthorized customer accounts, as well as newer revelations of customer harm. Such disclosures have cost the bank business.

Wells Fargo reported having about 261,700 employees companywide as the end of September. Cutting 5 percent of that involves 13,085 jobs and 10 percent covers 26,170 positions.

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In Fort Mill, employees affected by Thursday’s announcement worked primarily in the bank’s operation that serviced troubled home loans, Wells Fargo said. It added that the bank has seen a significant decline in the number of customers needing such assistance because of improvements in the housing market and lower delinquency and foreclosure rates.

Wells said it was committed to retaining as many of the affected employees as possible and will do everything it can to help them identify other opportunities within the company.