Wells Fargo Fine Congress

FILE - In this July 14, 2014 file photo, a man passes by a Wells Fargo bank office in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Wells Fargo & Co. is laying off 55 employees from its home mortgage call center in the Briargate area as part of nationwide cutback that is eliminating 683 jobs, the company said Thursday.

In an email statement from Denver- based spokeswoman Nicole Schwab, the San Francisco-based financial giant attributed the cutbacks to “continuing market changes” that have resulted in “several team member staff reductions in various markets since the beginning of 2018. We continue to adjust capacity within our lines of business to meet customer needs — and to ensure we’re operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

Schwab declined further comment on the layoff, but said the move came after “carefully evaluating market conditions and consumer needs.”

Wells Fargo’s center in the Springs focused mostly on home-equity lending, employing underwriters, processors and others to help borrowers tap the equity in their homes.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday that 137 of the layoffs are planned at the company’s call center in Orlando, Fla. Wells Fargo told the paper it was providing 60 days of notice and was working with employees for other opportunities in the company. The Sacramento Bee reported 190 of the layoffs are planned at Well Fargo’s Rancho Cordova, Calif., call center.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group, forecasts that mortgage lending will slow 6.1 percent this year from 2017 to 1.61 million loans and will slow slightly next year before rebounding in 2020, as fewer homeowners refinance their mortgages.

The layoffs come less than a month after Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $2.09 billion fine to settle allegations it misrepresented the types of mortgages it sold to investors during the housing bubble that ultimately led to the 2008 financial crisis.

Nationally, Wells Fargo was rocked in 2016 by the scandal over practices in which employees created millions of accounts without customers knowing about or authorizing them to meet the company’s ambitious sales goals.

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan apologized during a congressional hearing last fall and the company has since changed its sales practices and ousted executives.

The bank also paid $185 million in fines and agreed to set aside $142 million for customer remediation and settlement expenses as part of a nationwide class-action lawsuit.

The Wells Fargo layoff will be fourth in less than a year at a local call center, claiming more than 1,000 jobs.

Conduent announced plans this month to lay off 410 employees and close its center at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road on Oct. 12 as part of a series of restructuring moves that will close or sell off “noncore” operations.

StarTek laid off 261 in March, when it closed its Colorado Springs call center, and Alorica shuttered its local center and laid off 288 employees Dec. 31.

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Facebook: www.facebook.com/ wayne.heilman Twitter: twitter.com/wayneheilman

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

Twitter twitter.com/wayneheilman

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