WELLS FARGO: 263 Jobs Go Despite Record Profits

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It’s one of the most profitable banks in the country but hundreds of employees in the metro are getting their walking papers.

Wells Fargo boasted a record 19-percent rise in profits last quarter and total assets of more than $1.44- trillion. But that wasn’t enough to stop a couple hundred more layoffs in the metro.

In all, 263 local employees will lose their jobs at Wells Fargo, most of them in the Company’s West Des Moines credit card call center.  Most were given 60-days notice meaning they’ll be out of a job right around Thanksgiving.

“Certainly anytime we have people losing their job that’s certainly a concern for the city,” says West Des Moines Economic Development Director Clyde Evans.

The exact impact is still unknown.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo says the company will try to place laid off employees in other departments within the company. According to the company’s website, there are more than 150-local job opportunities.

The company will also offer career training to laid off workers.  The spokeswoman told Channel 13, wells Fargo is simply trying to streamline its call centers.

“I think that in that industry you’ve been seeing quite a bit of consolidation. They’re looking really hard at the efficiencies and ways they can improve efficiency.  So I think this is probably the whole shake out of the whole financial housing market still,” says Evans.

Since July, Wells Fargo has slashed more than 5,500 jobs nationwide including more than 400 here in the metro.

Still, Wells Fargo remains the largest private employer in the metro with 13, 500 employees in the Des Moines area.

Wells Fargo isn’t the only company scaling back in West Des Moines.

Aviva USA announced it will cut 90 jobs in West Des Moines when it is sold at the end of the month.

Job losses in the financial sector are bad for the whole metro.

A report from the Business Journals showed 46-percent of Des Moines’ gross metropolitan product comes from the banking and insurance industries.

That’s the highest percentage of any city in the country meaning Des Moines is more dependent on the financial sector than any other place in the US.


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