Wells Fargo said Thursday it is laying off nearly 100 mortgage employees in Fort Mill, S.C., the bank’s latest job cuts to the operation.
In announcing the 91 layoffs, the San Francisco-based bank cited drops in delinquency and foreclosure rates and slumping demand to refinance mortgages – reasons the bank has cited for previous rounds of layoffs in recent years.
Thursday’s cuts were part of 251 similar layoffs Wells Fargo announced across the country this week. The total includes two employees in Raleigh and 11 spread across North Carolina.
The latest cuts come as Wells Fargo and other lenders nationwide continue to shrink staffing in units that dealt with foreclosed borrowers. Banks increased staffing in those units as foreclosure rates in the U.S. skyrocketed when the housing market crashed.
Wells Fargo also continues shedding employees in its refinancing operation, as higher interest rates in recent years have made refinancing less attractive to many borrowers. Applications to refinance mortgages made up 52 percent of Wells Fargo’s overall applications for home loans in the first three months of this year. That’s down from 61 percent in the same period a year ago.
Wells Fargo has made other layoffs affecting its Charlotte-area mortgage workforce this year. In February it announced the cutting of 68 mortgage positions in Charlotte and Fort Mill, as part of 581 layoffs nationwide.
Across the Charlotte region, Wells Fargo says it employs about 23,600, making the area its largest employment hub.
“The decision to reduce our workforce is made with great concern for the team members who are affected,” Wells Fargo spokesman Josh Dunn said in a statement Thursday. “Wells Fargo is committed to retaining valued team members and, where possible, we will work to identify other opportunities within Wells Fargo.”