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Wells Fargo plans to cut up to 26,000 workers

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo, which has been cutting costs as it contends with the fallout from various scandals, said Thursday that it expects its employee headcount to decline by approximately 5% to 10% within the next three years.

The job cuts are expected to come from a combination of layoffs and normal attrition, as employees leave the company and their positions go unfilled. Wells has roughly 265,000 employees, so the planned reductions could result in the elimination of up to 26,500 jobs.

“Wells Fargo takes very seriously any change that involves its team members, and as always, we will be thoughtful and transparent, and treat team members with respect,” CEO Tim Sloan said in a press release.

“We have robust programs to make impacted team members aware of other job opportunities within Wells Fargo and provide support as they transition to the next phase of their careers. And even as we become more efficient, Wells Fargo will remain one of the largest employers in the United States.”

A Wells spokesman declined to comment on particular parts of the business that are most likely to be affected by the job cuts. The company has previously indicated that it plans to make reductions in its retail banking and wealth management units.

Wells was operating more than 6,300 branches at the end of 2014, but by June 30 of this year that number had fallen to below 5,900, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. The company, which still has the largest branch network in the country, said in January that it expects to reduce its branch footprint to around 5,000 by the end of 2020.

The San Francisco-based company said at an investor conference last week that it expects its total expenses in 2020 to be between $50 billion and $51 billion — down from $53.5 billion-$54.5 billion this year.

At the bank's investor day in May, a Wells executive said that the bank’s wealth management business was targeting around $600 million in savings by 2020.

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