Wells Fargo adding staff at acquired branches

As Wells Fargo starts to convert the Wachovia bank branches it acquired, it's adding employees.

"As a general rule, Wachovia does have a smaller staff in its retail locations than Wells Fargo," said Joe Stroop, Wachovia-Wells Fargo spokesman.

But Stroop said he's reluctant to say what that means for Wachovia's two branches in Wichita and six others in the state.

The practice of increased branch staffing is starting to emerge as Wells begins to convert the more than 4,800 Wachovia branches it picked up after it closed on its deal to buy the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank in December.

Wells said it plans to increase staffing in the Charlotte-area Wachovia branches when it begins a conversion there next year.

And it's already bolstered staffing in the Colorado branches it is keeping open. Branch conversions there began this month.

Wells Fargo announced earlier this year that it would closed 14 Wachovia branches in Colorado.

But its adding staff at the 19 other Colorado branches it is keeping.

Each one is adding one to two tellers and a personal banker, on average, Stroop said.

Plans aren't firm for staffing in Kansas Wachovia branches.

"It's far too early to say what may happen in Kansas," Stroop said.

He said conversion of the Kansas Wachovia branches is expected in the second half of 2010.

In Wichita, the Wachovia branches are at 6321 E. Central and 455 S. West St.

Its other Kansas branches are in Atchison, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park and Shawnee.