Wells Fargo cuts more mortgage jobs -- 161 in Minneapolis

  • Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 21, 2013 - 9:03 PM

The bank is scaling back its giant mortgage operations because of higher interest rates.

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Wells Fargo said it would cut 161 jobs in its home mortgage operation in Minneapolis.

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Wells Fargo & Co. has notified 161 people in its Minneapolis mortgage operation that their jobs will end in 60 days, alongside similar notifications in other cities.

Altogether, Wells Fargo is cutting an additional 2,323 mortgage jobs as higher interest rates eat into the big business the bank has done refinancing home loans.

The latest trims affected more employees than Wells Fargo’s other recent cuts as it adjusts its giant mortgage operations to a slowing mortgage scene.

The 2,323 new cuts amount to about 3 percent of the 70,000 people in the bank’s consumer lending business, which includes mortgages. The bank doesn’t break out the size of its mortgage workforce.

Bank spokeswoman Peggy Gunn said the bank is “reducing staff to better align and increase the efficiency of our organization.”

“While interest rates remain very favorable by historical standards for home buyers and lenders, the fast-paced consumer demand for mortgage refinancing we experienced throughout 2012 and early 2013 is slowing somewhat,” Gunn said.

Gunn said the bank will try to find new jobs in Wells Fargo for the people who are cut.

About 8,500 of Wells Fargo’s nearly 20,000 employees in Minnesota work in its home mortgage division.

In July, Wells Fargo announced 34 layoffs in Minneapolis and said it was ending the last of its mortgage joint ventures, including one with Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. The exit is expected to affect about 150 workers in the Twin Cities over the next 18 months.

Just how many jobs will be lost as the bank adjusts to the changing mortgage environment is an open question that Wells Fargo has not addressed publicly. Larger rival JP­Morgan Chase & Co. said in February that it plans to cut 17,000 jobs nationally by the end of 2014, mostly in its mortgage business. □

 

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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