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WELLS FARGO CLOSING 5 STORES

Dozens of bay area workers losing jobs may be transferred.

A decision by Wells Fargo & Co. to shut down its Wells Fargo Financial stores includes five in the Tampa Bay area and 34 in Florida.

The stores, separate from community banks or mortgage centers, offered nonprime portfolio mortgage loans that Wells Fargo will no longer originate.

Other services will shift to other Wells Fargo businesses, along with Wells Fargo Financial's nonstore employees. Each store employs five to seven people, but job losses will depend on the market, since some employees might be transferred, said Steve Carlson, a spokesman for Wells Fargo.

"We'll continue to look for new positions for as many impacted team members as possible," he said.

Nationwide, about 17 percent of those who work for Wells Fargo Financial will lose their jobs - 3,800 layoffs within the next 12 months.

The company says the 638 stores aren't necessary since its 2008 merger with Wachovia, which made it Florida's largest bank and gave it a network of community banking centers in the state. The stores will close within 60 days.

"The economics of a separate Wells Fargo Financial channel are no longer viable, especially now that our customers have access to the largest banking and mortgage store network in the United States," said David Kvamme, president of Wells Fargo Financial.

The number of community banks and home mortgage stores won't change, the company said. Wells Fargo Financial customers with FHA home loans, auto loans and credit cards will be served by those businesses.

Those weren't the only local bank layoffs announced this month. Bank of America has filed a notice with the state to lay off 50 employees from 5301 W Idlewild Ave. in Tampa by the end of August.

Becky Bowers can be reached at bbowers@sptimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ bbowerstimes.

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FAST FACTS

What's closing

Wells Fargo Financial will close these stores in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando counties. Existing customers can go to Wells Fargo banks, mortgage stores and wellsfargo.com.

- 35111 U.S. 19 N, Suite No. 203, Palm Harbor, FL 34684, (727) 773-0720

- 11222 Park Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772, (727) 391-3663

- 13446 Boyette Road, Riverview, FL 33569, (813) 653-4256

- 15227 N Dale Mabry Highway, Suite No. 4, Tampa, FL 33618, (813) 968-2646

- 13128 Cortez Blvd. Unit 18, Spring Hill, FL 34613, (352) 597-4887

Source: WellsFargo.com

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