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Wells Fargo Planning Corporate Banking Shakeup

Wells Fargo is looking at its corporate banking operations to consolidate and reduce costs, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Reuters on Thursday (April 5).

Unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal that Wells wants to consolidate its corporate and investment bank, a move that reports said could lead to layoffs and disruptions for corporate banking relationship managers, advisory teams and other industry stakeholders.

Wells’ plan would involve integrating its corporate bank and investment bank, though sources said the financial institution (FI) does not want to entirely merge the two entities. The move would mean both units would share profit and loss targets, according to reports.

Sources also said Wells Fargo has notified its staff of coming layoffs affecting “several dozen” employees, affecting senior and junior employees in an array of areas including trading units and credit sales, though one source said the layoffs were not coming directly from the corporate and investment bank integration plans. Reports said the integration may lead to additional layoffs later on, however.

Only days ago, Asure Software announced it reached an agreement to acquire assets from Wells Fargo. The FI’s Business Payroll Services’ solution Evolution HCM will be acquired by Asure Software.

Last month, Wells Fargo announced it would be overhauling its risk management processes and that four of its top risk management executives will be retiring. The announcement followed revelations that the U.S. Federal Reserve initiated a rare enforcement action against Wells, preventing the FI from growing in size or scope beyond the less than $2 trillion it currently has on the books. Those rules will be in place until Wells Fargo can make “sufficient improvements” to address “widespread consumer abuse.”

Wells has been under scrutiny since previous revelations that employees were opening accounts without permission from customers. The action from the Fed marks the agency’s first limitation placed on a company ruling how much it can grow.

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