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Jan 7, 2009

Wells Fargo chief unsure how many jobs will be cut

Wells Fargo & Co. chief executive John Stumpf said Wednesday he does not know how many jobs will be cut as his bank absorbs Wachovia Corp., but he said it was a priority to keep losses at a minimum.

Stumpf said in an interview with The Charlotte Observer that he expects job cuts to begin this year and extend over a period of about three years as the two companies slowly integrate.

"I can tell you there will be duplicative jobs and there will be job loss, I know that," Stumpf said. "How many that will be, I do not know."

Stumpf told the newspaper that the company has already frozen new hiring and posted open jobs within the company.

The San Francisco-based bank now employs more than 20,000 workers in Charlotte, where Wachovia based its operations. Wells Fargo completed its purchase of Wachovia at the end of December in a $12.7 billion deal.

The combination of Wells Fargo and Wachovia creates one of the nation's largest banks with more than $1.42 trillion in assets and nearly $800 million in deposits. The deal helps expand Wells Fargo's footprint, especially along the East Coast.

New York-based Citigroup had initially agreed to buy Wachovia's banking operations for $2.1 billion - a fire sale price that underscored the weight of a toxic mortgage portfolio that Wachovia was struggling to carry. But Wells Fargo stepped in four days later with a higher offer that did not rely on support from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Source : Forbes
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