Wells Fargo Paring Jobs in Its Securities Unit as Fees Slump

Wells Fargo & Co. is cutting jobs in its securities unit, including some at the managing director level.

Wells Fargo Securities, the firm’s investment-banking and trading business, is eliminating “a small number of jobs,” Jessica Ong, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based lender, said Wednesday, declining to provide precise figures. The unit employs about 5,000 people worldwide, she said.

“As part of the normal course of business, we periodically adjust our staffing levels to align with our customer’s needs and market conditions,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement. “We remain fully committed to growing our investment-banking business. Staffing levels were up across the Wells Fargo Securities business in 2015 and we expect continued growth in 2016.”

Banks have signaled that tens of thousands of jobs are at risk as low interest rates and regulatory changes pressure profits. Morgan Stanley eliminated about 1,200 employees, including about a quarter of its fixed-income trading staff. Bank of America Corp., which cut 10,000 jobs last year, will cull more in 2016 as it seeks to lower costs amid declining revenue, Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said.

While Wells Fargo doesn’t report results for its securities unit, fourth-quarter investment-banking fees fell 26 percent to $385 million from a year earlier, the lender said last month. The securities unit, run by Jonathan Weiss, is part of the wholesale banking division, which posted $2.1 billion in fourth-quarter profit, largely unchanged from a year earlier.

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