Wells Fargo cuts more jobs as part of earlier cost-cutting drive

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> has started to cut jobs at its commercial banking unit as part of larger reductions that will impact nearly all of its functions and business lines, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The bank resumed job cuts in early August after it paused layoffs in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wells Fargo said in July it would launch a broad cost-cutting initiative this year as the bank braces for massive loan losses caused by the pandemic and continues to work through expensive regulatory and operational problems tied to a long-running sales scandal.

“We are at the beginning of a multiyear effort to build a stronger, more efficient company for our customers, employees, communities, and shareholders,” a spokeswoman said via email on Wednesday.

“The work will consist of a broad range of actions, including workforce reductions, to bring our expenses more in line with our peers,” she added, without specifying the number of job cuts.

Wells Fargo has cut 700 jobs as part of workforce reductions that could ultimately impact “tens of thousands” of staff, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday citing people with knowledge of the matter.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the heads of large U.S. banks including Morgan Stanley <MS.N>, Bank of America Corp <BAC.N> and others had pledged not to cut any jobs in 2020.

However, as executives prepare for an extended recession and loan losses that come with it, layoffs are back on the table.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> said last month it plans to move forward with “a modest number of layoffs”.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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