Wells Fargo & Co. is eliminating one whole level of management — its retail-banking area managers, including the job of its Philadelphia Community Bank Area chief, Greg Redden.
The bank has cut dozens of top managers overseeing its 6,000-plus local offices, the nation's largest branch network. It is also consolidating the regions that formerly reported to the area bosses — such as combining its former Philadelphia city region with its northern suburbs — leaving fewer regional bosses, each running more branches.
Wells Fargo announced in June that the national reorganization would eliminate 70 management jobs, leaving around 90 regional managers in what Wells Fargo calls its "community bank." The change "will help us become even more streamlined, effective, and consistent," Mary Mack, community banking chief for the San Francisco-based company, said in an internal memo at that time, American Banker reported.
Like other banks, Wells Fargo has struggled to keep profits growing from the branches it acquired in a string of multibillion-dollar mergers, as more Americans do their banking online and on mobile devices. Former chief executive John Stumpf, who had long boasted of the company's prowess at squeezing more business from customers, was forced from office after the bank's widespread practice of opening new accounts without customers' permission to meet growth targets was exposed last year by the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement, and bank regulators. Philadelphia sued the bank earlier this year, alleging it overcharged lower-income customers for home loans, which the bank disputes.
Instead of running its retail business through its former "areas" of around 150 branches each, headed by a president and split into three or four "regions" of around 40 branches each, the company has scrapped the areas and reduced the number of regions, leaving a smaller core of bosses with regions of 60 to 90 branches each.
Among those left without an assignment are Redden, the bank's last "Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Community President," and Anthony Rosado, who ran the company's former area for the City of Philadelphia, reporting to Redden.
The city, instead of forming its own area, is being combined with Lower Bucks and eastern and southern Montgomery County into a new "Greater Philadelphia" region, to be headed by Joe Kirk, who's moving here from his old job as Wells Fargo's New York City regional president.
The city's western suburbs and Delaware will be run as a region by Lauren Tobiassen, previously the bank's boss in Reading and central Pennsylvania. Brian Formisano, who headed the former Bucks and Montgomery County region, is heading a new consolidated South Jersey region covering the state below Trenton, from Shore to Bay.