In the process of consolidating its regional collections centers, Auto Finance News has learned that Wells Fargo Dealer Services Inc. is eliminating 57 regional business managers — some of which have been with the company for decades.
The cuts include Division Manager Dennis Bott, Senior Vice President and Western Regional Leader Kim Gershon, and East Coast Regional Leader Gregory Nagel, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman confirmed to AFN. Although their positions have been eliminated, they will have opportunities to apply to other positions within the company.
However, all three have already declined the position of central region manager, according to a source who spoke to AFN on the condition of anonymity. An internal memo also thanked the three for their years of service and wished them “the very best in the future,” however the spokeswoman could not confirm they were leaving the company altogether.
In total, 57 regional collections centers are closing and will be consolidated in three locations in Irving, Texas; Chandler Ariz.; and Raleigh, N.C., over the next two to three quarters, the spokeswoman confirmed. Funding operations will be consolidated into two of those centers in Irving and Chandler. Dealership sales and relationships teams will remain at their current regional centers and over time will be moved into other existing Wells Fargo buildings.
Credit underwriting teams will remain local in order to be closer to the dealers they serve and will work on both retail loan and commercial loan accounts.
“After a critical look at the Dealer Services business structure, we are making changes designed to deliver better, more consistent service while also providing team members access to improved technology, training, and career progression,” the company said in a statement to AFN. “While our previous structure served us well for decades, Wells Fargo must adapt to changing expectations of dealers, consumers, and the marketplace.”
The structure is designed to foster more collaboration between Wells Fargo’s retail loan division and its commercial services branch. Jerry Bowen was head of commercial dealer services prior to assuming interim leadership of the indirect auto finance team in February, following Bill Katafias’ departure. Bowen’s title is now head of dealer relationships and production.
Two executives have agreed to stay on and report to Bowen: Senior Vice President Wayne Dale will run the Eastern region, while Senior Vice President Phillip Forrest runs the Western division. National Sales Director James Hysten will remain at the company as will Commercial Risk Executive Craig Peatross. No one has yet filled the Central division role.
“Once these changes are complete, the dealer relationships and production leadership team will consist of: Andrea Barnett, Vicki Bott, Ruth Ann Clark, Wayne Dale, Phil Forrest, James Hysten, Robert Moore, Craig Peatross, and the soon to be named Central division leader,” the company wrote in an internal memo.
On Friday, Bloomberg separately obtained an internal memo announcing the elimination of 70 other senior executive banking jobs. These cuts will reduce the bank’s number of regional and area presidents to 91, and employees will remain on staff for the next 60 days.
While the consolidation was planned months in advance, the news comes amid reports that Wells Fargo falsely charged more than 800,000 consumers for auto insurance they could not afford.
A 60-page report prepared by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that between 2012 and 2016 the additional charges sent 274,000 borrowers into delinquency, and resulted in 25,000 vehicle repossessions — including those of active-duty servicemembers.
On Friday, the bank confirmed that the practice took place and agreed to pay $80 million to affected consumers.1 - Reader Likes This Post