By Beting Laygo Dolor

Hundreds of Filipino workers of Wells Fargo & Co. will lose their jobs as the US-based company re-organizes its global operations.

Some 700 tech employees of the company will be let go, with their jobs being relocated to India, it was learned last week.

According to Wells Fargo spokesman Peter Gilchrist, the revamp is part of the company’s strategy “that emphasizes co-location and collaboration to help increase technology’s speed and engagement.”

Only about 50 employees in the Philippines will be retained. The 700 who will be separated from the San Francisco-based lending company will be provided “a significant notice period and extensive support,” Gilchrist added.

Those who opt to relocate to India have until October 31, this year to move to the new base of operations.

While the re-organization is expected to provide “meaningful benefits” to the company’s employees and customers, the Wells Fargo spokesman said they also recognized that the change “will have a significant impact on some employees and their families.”

The hundreds of Manila-based employees affected by the change will be provided with services to help them find new positions within Wells Fargo, according to Gilchrist.

Those who will not be placed internally will receive separation benefits, he said.

The changes will not only affect Asia operations.

In his statement, Gilchrist said that technology roles in the US with less than 10 workers, including those who work from home, will have to move to larger US markets.

While considered one of the most successful American companies for more than a century, Wells Fargo has faced some serious problems, of late.

Last month, Federal authorities fined Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf the sum of US$17.5 million over the bank’s fake accounts scandal.

From 2002 to 2016, employees of the bank were found to have millions of deposit and credit card accounts without the knowledge and approval of their customers. The scandal happened during Stumpf’s watch and the fine he must pay is considered an exceptionally high punitive action against a former banking industry leader. 

As an off-shoot of the scandal, Wells Fargo was forced to replace its chief executive twice, the most recent of which was the appointment of Charlie Scharf, formerly chief of the Bank of New York Mellon.

Scharf said upon his appointment that he plans significant changes within the organization to try and win back the trust not only of US regulators but the general public as well.

Downsizing Philippine operations is part of the financial institution’s changes. Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 by Henry Wells and William Fargo, offering basic banking services such as purchasing gold from prospectors and fast delivery services.

The company became famous in the 1880s at the time of the Wild West. As a stagecoach company, it brought people, mail and cargo when law and order did not always exist.

Growing steadily through the decades, Wells Fargo introduced various inter-related services throughout the US, including banking, mortgage, investing, credit card and personal and small business loans, as well as commercial financial services.

The company has since expanded to become a multi-national financial services organization, considered the world’s fourth largest bank in the US and the world, in terms of total assets and market capitalization, respectively.

AS part of its re-branding, the company replaced its longtime six-horse stagecoach logo with a more contemporary look. Last year, the company also launched its “real change” campaign with the catchphrase, “This is Wells Fargo.”

Wells Fargo Bank in the Philippines is based at The Enterprise Center along Ayala Avenue, Makati City. The avenue is considered the Philippine equivalent of Wall Street.