COLUMBIA — Wells Fargo Financial will close its Columbia branch at 2703 E. Broadway by early September. Wells Fargo plans to close all of its 638 financial stores nationwide, according to a Wednesday news release. Wells Fargo community banking and home mortgage stores will remain open.
A 2008 merger with Wachovia extended Wells Fargo's network of community banking and home mortgage stores, which eliminated the economic viability of a separate network of financial stores, the release said.
Wells Fargo will no longer offer non-prime portfolio mortgage loans, also known as subprime loans. These loans, typically for borrowers who have a credit score of 620 or below, are seen as higher-risk for the lending institution and carry higher interest rates.
All other loan products will still be offered through the remaining Wells Fargo stores. Clients with existing consumer or commercial loans will continue to be served, according to the company.
The Columbia branch, along with 14 others statewide, will close sometime in the next 60 days, said Diana Rodriguez, communications vice president for Wells Fargo Financial. However, she said no specific closing dates have been set.
Of the 14,000 people employed by Wells Fargo Financial, 3,800 will lose their jobs. Within 60 days, 2,800 positions will be eliminated. Another 1,000 will be cut within 12 months, and the remainder will be reassigned, according to the release.
The Columbia Wells Fargo Financial branch was unable to comment on how many employees will be affected at that location.