Wells Fargo Bucks FinTech Trend By Erasing Over Two Dozen Tech and Operations Jobs

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At a time when technology hires continue to be in demand at many banks, Wells Fargo & Co. is planning to cut technology and operations jobs by year-end in an effort to eliminate more than $1.5 billion of quarterly operating expenses.

Most of the cuts are likely to fall in the bank's technology hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as Minneapolis and San Francisco.

A server management group that employs about 500 is planning to cut about 25 staff and eliminate 30 unfilled positions, Reuters reports, adding that this is according to announcements employees in that group have already received. Wells Fargo has said it is looking to trim up to $188 million of quarterly expenses for technology and staff, so more job cuts are likely to be made going forward.

Reuters speculated that financial institutions see technology as ripe for cuts because the changes are not as apparent to customers as other layoffs might be.

But this is not generally the case in the capital markets space. As eFinancialCareers reported just last week, tech jobs have become more crucial than ever to investment banks, fund managers, brokers and insurance firms-all of whom spend billions on their tech teams to keep current on changes in business priorities, profitability and regulation. In many cases, retail banks also tend to be reliant on tech professionals

for these sorts of functions.

Our short list of top fintech skills most in demand today includes C, C++, C#; SQL and Java/J2EE expertise.

For its part, however, Wells Fargo's latest efforts comes under the heading of the bank's Project Compass efficiency program which was initiated late last year, aiming to eliminate jobs to reduce expenses.

Under the project, Wells Fargo targets to "trim down" quarterly expenses to $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 from $11.7 billion in the third quarter of 2011, according to analyst blog highlights released today by Zacks.com.

Apart from reducing jobs, the company plans to achieve its target through loss alleviation and foreclosing assets, initiatives that are to be executed in upcoming quarters, according to the announcement.

Zacks notes too that:

- In March 2011, Wells Fargo declared that it will lay off approximately 200 employees, including 82 employees in San Antonio, 30 in Addison and 67 in Bedford, Texas in its home mortgage division. The company's Home Mortgage division, which is based in West Des Moines, IA, captures approximately 25 percent of the U.S. home lending market.

- The bank also announced the elimination of 68 positions at a Vancouver call center, which supports collection of loans for Wells Fargo Financial division, Zacks reported.

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