News Column

Wells Fargo laying off more mortgage workers in Charlotte

February 27, 2014

By Andrew Dunn, The Charlotte Observer



Feb. 27--Wells Fargo is laying off another 700 mortgage workers across the country, including 25 in Charlotte, the bank said Thursday.

It's the latest in a series of layoffs that have cost thousands across the financial industry their jobs as rising interest rates have dramatically slowed home refinancings. Hundreds of the cuts have landed in Charlotte.

Most employees who lost their jobs worked as mortgage processors and underwriters. Wells spokesman Josh Dunn said in a statement that the cuts were made to "better align with the market and increase the efficiency of our organization."

Big banks rapidly increased their staffing in their mortgage units as historically low interest rates led homeowners to refinance their mortgages in droves. But as rates started to rise in spring 2013, demand declined precipitously. Wells Fargo's mortgage banking income fell nearly 50 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period the year before, according to its most recent earnings report.

The San Francisco bank, which keeps its East Coast regional headquarters in Charlotte, had previously conducted mortgage layoffs in August, September, and October. Total job losses have reached at least 5,800 nationwide and 450 in Charlotte.

So far this year, Bank of America, SunTrust and Citigroup have also announced mortgage-related job cuts in Charlotte.

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Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)


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