Wells Fargo cuts wealth management jobs

Wells Fargo & Co. has laid off 15 wealth management employees in the Carolinas as part of an ongoing efficiency effort.

In July, Wells chief financial officer Tim Sloan cited a reorganization of the wealth management organization as an outgrowth of Project Compass, a program that aims to reduce quarterly expenses by $1.5 billion by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Wells Fargo spokesman Josh Dunn provided the number of layoffs in the Carolinas but declined to share a number for the rest of the country. Wells Fargo has about 266,600 employees, with more than 20,000 in the Charlotte area, its biggest employee hub.

"As many companies do from time to time, Wells Fargo Wealth Management has recently made a number of changes to its internal structure in order to streamline operations and position the organization to more effectively meet the clients' needs," Dunn said.

Dunn said the changes allow Wells to realize efficiencies from the Wachovia merger and allow the company to "focus more resources closer to our clients." San Francisco-based Wells bought Wachovia in 2008.

As revenue growth slows in a sluggish economy, banks are looking to cut costs to improve profitability. Bank of America Corp. last week said it was laying off 3,500 this quarter ahead of broader cuts expected this fall as part of an efficiency effort called Project New BAC.