Wells Fargo responds to possible layoffs in Richland County

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 4:33 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The future of more than 500 Wells Fargo employees remain uncertain, as the banking giant said it’s closing this building by next summer.

This news comes in a letter dated last week from Wells Fargo to Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenman and the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

Wells Fargo said many of its 525 workers at its Columbia headquarters will be offered relocation opportunities.

Those choosing not to relocate will be offered severance packages.

According to the Wells Fargo chief financial officer, his assertion is because of higher interest rates coming from the feds, causing a big drop in mortgage volumes.

Wells Fargo claimed that at the end of the 4th quarter of 2022, the mortgage volume sells about 70% and that’s a lot. And so, with that, they had to lay off about 11,000 workers,” said Benedict College Economist Dr.Raymond Lee.

Lee explains that these layoffs are not new and have been occurring since last year.

The University of South Carolina’s (USC) Darla Moore School of Business Research Economist Joey Von Nessen told WIS these potential layoffs could be connected to the rise of online banking.

”Columbia’s economy and South Carolina’s economy continues to remain strong and resilient throughout 2023 and what this announcement today represents is a movement more towards online banking as we see the financial services sector evolve into a new environment where more consumers want to interact with their financial institutions online just as they are interacting with other companies online,” Nessen said.

Each affected employee will receive a 60-day notice from the date they receive formal notice of displacement. Both Dr. Lee and Von Nessen both highlighted Columbia’s strong economy and the demand for workers remains very high.

Wells Fargo released a statement that said:

“Wells Fargo continues to bring employees in non-customer facing roles together and to improve and modernize our workspaces. This will strengthen our customer-centric culture, collaboration, strong risk management, and innovation. We will offer support to impacted employees, such as severance and career counseling.”

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