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Peru Wells Fargo branch among sold

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

Wells Fargo bank has agreed to sell 52 of their retail bank branches to Flagstar Bank, FSB, a subsidiary of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc.

The bank is selling all of its branches in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, as well as a few locations in Wisconsin, according to a Wells Fargo news release.

The sale is an effort to “address existing market conditions and evolving consumer preferences for how they bank” in congruence with their focus on efficiency and effectiveness, according to Wells Fargo Upper Midwest Regional Communications Consultant Heather Meyer.

The sale is going to affect approximately 490 employees who will receive offers of employment from Flagstar.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Flagstar, as they are committed to providing excellent service to our customers and providing a great workplace for our team members,” said Mary Mack, head of Community Banking and Consumer Lending for Wells Fargo. “As we continue to reduce our branch network, we believe this sale to Flagstar will result in the best outcome for customers, team members and other stakeholders in these markets,” said the Wells Fargo release.

According to Meyer, Wells Fargo anticipates reducing their Community Banking branch network down to 5,000 locations by the end of 2020.

Meyer also said the company is considering all options to further their branch network including branch closures, branch consolidations and branch divestiture transactions.

“This means that we have decided to explore the possible sale of some branches in our footprint,” Meyer said. “We’ll deploy that strategy in limited situations where we determine it’s the best solution for customers, team members and the community.”

Divestitures – or selling of branches or franchises – is a way for the company to achieve their branch network optimization strategy while causing little disruption for customers and team members who are moved to the purchasing bank, according to Meyer.

“While branch divestitures could alter our Community Banking footprint, we expect to maintain our presence and commitment in local markets where we might divest retail bank branches with the local team members who represent other lines of business such as Wholesale Banking, Home Lending, Wealth and Investment Management and more,” Meyer said.

The sale to Flagstar is slated to become effective in October when the transaction closes.

The transaction contains approximately $2.3 billion in deposits and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, Meyer said.

Wells Fargo declared its intentions to work closely with Flagstar to ensure customers have a smooth transition and uninterrupted service.

“There is no action required for customers of these branches at this time, and Wells Fargo and Flagstar will communicate in advance of any changes as we work together to care for customers and team members,” Meyer said.

Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. is a $17.7 billion savings and loan holding company out of Troy, Michigan. The company provides commercial, small business and consumer banking services through 99 Michigan branches and 8 California branches, according to a Flagstar news release.

“...We are confident customers will like Flagstar’s big bank line-up of quality products and services delivered with the high-touch personal service of a community bank. Flagstar has a long tradition of supporting its communities and fully expects to continue its commitment to good corporate citizenship and community reinvestment in our expanded market area,” said Alessandro DiNello, president and chief executive officer of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. in Flagstar’s release.