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Wells Fargo shifts many jobs overseas following layoffs

Wells Fargo has laid off hundreds of U.S. employees during the past year as it pushed many of their jobs overseas, according to an Observer analysis of federal documents.

In the Charlotte metro area, the bank’s largest employment hub, mortgage jobs eliminated this year have also been sent overseas, Wells confirmed. The bank slashed hundreds of such workers in the area but would not disclose how many of those jobs it has sent outside the U.S.

The documents, published online by the U.S. Department of Labor, shed light on how Wells Fargo has quietly shifted work out of the country. Many of the U.S. layoffs have affected call center operations, including about 460 employees cut last year when Wells Fargo announced the closure of a site in Pennsylvania.

Wells Fargo has not always disclosed that it was relocating U.S. jobs in announcing the layoffs. But the documents — findings of Labor Department investigations into the cuts — show the bank has sent the work outside of the country.

In the past year, the department investigated 636 layoffs reported by employees and state officials seeking determinations that the workers’ jobs were being shipped out the U.S., documents show. The findings are required before workers can receive federally-funded benefits, like weekly income payments and training so they can find new jobs.

What’s not clear is how many of the 636 jobs Wells sent overseas, although the documents state that a “significant” number were. The Labor Department’s findings also do not name countries where jobs were sent, but Wells Fargo reported expanding its Philippines operations in recent years.

When it announced the Pennsylvania call center closure in October 2017, the bank said that the work done at the facility was not being relocated.

“This decision is being made primarily because we have experienced a drop in call center volume,” Wells spokeswoman Christina Carmichael said at the time. “These jobs are not being moved anywhere.”