Big bank blames rising rates as 350 handed walking papers

by MPA23 Jul 2013

The nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer just handed out 350 sets of walking papers nationally, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

Wells Fargo & Co., which employs about 270,000 people worldwide, blamed rising mortgage rates for the cuts. Recent years saw the mortgage giant add jobs in response to record-low rates, which averaged just 3.35 percent at the end of last year, according to the Argus Leader. But this month the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit a two-year high of 4.51 percent before slipping to 4.37 percent last week.

“The low interest rate environment of the past few years allowed us to staff up to meet the demand we were seeing,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Angie Kaipust told the Argus Leader. “As this fast-paced demand for refinancing is slowing somewhat, we need to reduce staff to align with the business need.”

Kaipust said some of the 350 employees who received their 60-day notice Wednesday may be reassigned to other positions within the company.

“Positions will be eliminated, not necessarily people,” she said.

The people unfortunate enough to be eliminated along with their positions will be given severance packages, according to the Argus Leader.

Wells Fargo posted record profits of $5.56 billion in the second quarter.



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