Mumbai: Even though the US is in the election mode and is under the anti-outsourcing Obama administration, the fourth largest lender there by assets, Wells Fargo has decided to move an unspecified number of jobs to India, as part of its plan to trim cost.
"As part of our efforts to increase efficiency, we are thoughtfully pursuing a strategy for where we grow and where we shift resources over the long-term.
"Businesses and functional areas are investigating what markets are most economically attractive, with access to the best talent, both internationally (including India and the Philippines) and domestically," Wells Fargo & Company spokeswoman Bridget Braxton told PTI from San Francisco, California.
While refusing to reveal the number of jobs that would be moved to India and the Philippines, she, however, said, "The areas of business that would be impacted include the retirement, technology and other business lines."
Already, the lender employs 3,000 people in the country at its Hyderabad and Bangalore offices, while it has 240 in the Philippines, according to the bank.
While refusing to divulge the timing and the number of positions that would be moving offshore, she said, "The timing and the number of positions that would be impacted have not been identified yet, but I can tell you, the majority of our workforce will continue to be based in America. We're the 12th largest private employer in the US employing 1 in 500."
The 150-year-old American financial powerhouse with $1.333 trillion in assets as of December 2011 and the largest by market value, has been already present in the country since 2006 as a trade financier and apart from running a technology centre.
About the bank's existing operations in Mumbai, Braxton said while the bank has no branch or retail operations in Mumbai, their services here include Wells Fargo India Solutions (WFIS), which is a technology resource center set up in 2006.
Apart from this fully-owned centre based in Hyderabad, it also has another similar centre in Bangalore, she said. While in the Philippines, the bank was present since 1976, it opened a customer service centre called Wells Fargo Philippines Solutions (WFPS) in Manila last year, Braxton said.
Proffering the reason for shifting jobs, she further said, "Their customers are international and thus expect round-the-clock service, apart faster turn-around for decisions and responses.
"In collaboration with teams in the US, our teams at WFIS and WFPS help us meet these expectations. Global expansion of our workforce allows us to do these processes faster, and with more flexibility."
It can be noted that Wells Fargo, founded in 1852, has been planning to trim over $1.7 billion every quarter by the end of 2012, saving as much as $11 billion, and this off-shoring plan will help it to attain this objective to some extent.
Wells Fargo had 264,900 full-time employees at the end of March, with 98 per cent of them being is in the US.
While many jobs in the Philippines are customer-service roles, those in India involve technology functions as well as functions for many business lines across the bank, it is learnt.
Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo's services include consumer banking, corporate banking, investment banking, global wealth management, financial analysis, private equity and credit cards.
Its revenue in 2011 stood at $87.597 billion while profit was $15.87 billion on an asset of $1.313 trillion.
Wells Fargo is the fourth largest US bank, after Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, in terms of assets and the largest by m-cap, apart from being the second largest bank in deposits, home mortgage servicing, and debit cards, apart from being the 23rd largest company in the US.
In 1998, Wells Fargo acquired the Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation and in 2008 it bought out the Charlotte-based Wachovia. As of 2011, it had over 9,000 retail branches and 12,231 ATMs in 39 in the US to sever its 70 million customers.