Wells Fargo to cut up to 26,500 jobs

NEW YORK • Wells Fargo announced plans on Thursday to cut 5 to 10 per cent of its workforce, a move that would affect up to 26,500 jobs based on current headcount.

The bank, which has struggled to regain its footing following a series of scandals, said the cuts would make it more efficient at a time when more customers are banking on digital platforms.

"We are continuing to transform Wells Fargo to deliver what customers want" which includes "evolving our business model to meet those needs in a more streamlined and efficient manner," its chief executive officer Tim Sloan said.

He said the bank will support laid-off workers including pointing them towards other posts within Wells Fargo.

Large banks have been closing branches amid the increasing shift to online banking. In July, Wells Fargo, a major player in mortgages in the United States where most of its business is based, said it planned to close 300 offices this year, in addition to divestitures of 52 branches in four Midwestern states.

In the second quarter, the bank experienced a 5 per cent drop in teller and ATM transactions, while digital sessions increased 17 per cent from the year-ago period, executives said in July.

Wells Fargo also has been stymied by scandals, especially revelations in 2016 that it opened phoney deposit accounts and lines of credit without clients' knowledge as part of high-pressure retail sales tactics. Since then, it has revamped its payment incentive system and taken steps to boost governance.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline 'Wells Fargo to cut up to 26,500 jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe