* Wells cutting server management jobs, employees told
* "Project Compass" has been underway since last year
* Staff, technology functions are targets for expense cuts
By Rick Rothacker
Nov 18 Wells Fargo & Co plans to cut
technology and operations jobs by the end of this year as the
bank tries to eliminate more than $1.5 billion of quarterly
A server management group that employs about 500 is
planning to cut about 25 staff and eliminate 30 unfilled
positions, employees in the group have been told.
Wells Fargo has said it is looking to trim up to $188
million of quarterly expenses for technology and staff, so more
job cuts could come in this area.
Most major financial institutions are looking to tighten
their belts and banks often target technology because the
reductions can be invisible to customers.
Banks have announced more than 120,000 job cuts worldwide
this year, according to a Reuters tally, amid a difficult
capital markets environment, sluggish economic growth and new
regulations crimping consumer banking revenue.
Wells Fargo is the fourth largest U.S. bank by assets but
the second largest by employees after Bank of America Corp with the equivalent of 263,800 full-time employees.
The San Francisco-based bank has said Project Compass, the
efficiency program it launched at the end of last year, would
eliminate jobs but the bank has not disclosed a specific number
as some competitors have.
A bank spokesman said he could not provide details on the
server management group because "outcomes are not final."
The bank may add staff to some groups even as it cuts from
others, said Wells spokesman Ancel Martinez, adding that
laid-off employees can seek jobs in other parts of the
The bank is trying to cut costs by operating more
efficiently, Martinez said.
The bank has said Project Compass aims to reduce quarterly
expenses to $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 from
about $12.5 billion in the second quarter of this year.
Quarterly expenses in technology and staff areas were around
$2.2 billion in the second quarter, the bank has said.
Wells is centralizing some staff functions and simplifying
its technology operations as part of the program.
The bank has technology hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina;
Scottsdale, Arizona; Minneapolis and San Francisco. Wells
acquired Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp in 2008 and is in the
final stages of knitting together the operations.
This week, Charlotte-based Bank of America began issuing
layoff notices to technology and operations employees as part
of an efficiency program that is expected to eliminate 30,000
positions over the next few years. Bank of America had 288,739
employees at the end of the third quarter.