Business

Wells Fargo to blend units, close 638 Financial stores

Wells Fargo & Co. will integrate its storefront loan business into its banking and mortgage units, which means the closing of its 638 Wells Fargo Financial stores.

The San Francisco-based bank holding company said Wednesday that the closings would affect 3,800 employees companywide.

It is not clear how the closings will affect workers in Wichita, where the company has three Wells Fargo Financial stores.

Those stores are at 650 N. Carriage Park, 8428 W. 13th St. and 2441 N. Maize Road.

Wells Fargo has just over 100 employees in Wichita, according to figures obtained by The Eagle in June. But those figures include employees of its bank, home mortgage business and its investment unit, Wells Fargo Advisors.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman did not respond to a message requesting comment Wednesday afternoon.

"The economics of a separate Wells Fargo Financial channel are no longer viable, especially now that our customers have access to the largest banking and mortgage store network in the United States," David Kvamme, president of Wells Fargo Financial, said in a news release.

The stores offer consumer and commercial loan products, which will be rolled into the company's bank and mortgage operations. Wells Fargo said customers with existing loans will continue to receive service from the company.

The closings will not affect its existing Wells Fargo bank and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage offices.

The company said about 2,800 of the 14,000 jobs at Wells Fargo Financial will be eliminated in the next two months. Another 1,000 positions will be eliminated over the next year.

Remaining workers will be reassigned to jobs in other parts of the company.

"We have already identified positions for thousands of our employees and are committed to finding new positions for as many impacted team members as possible," Kvamme said.

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