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Wells Fargo says no plans for branch consolidation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wells Fargo & Co. said Wednesday that it has no plans to undertake a major consolidation of its bank branches.

Earlier, the bank’s chief financial officer, Tim Sloan, told a financial conference that “as part of our focus on expenses, we’re looking at all of our locations and trying to make sure or trying to see where have opportunities to combine offices that may be near each other.”

A Wells Fargo spokesman said Sloan was referring the bank’s ongoing efforts to make its network of outlets more efficient and meet customer demand.

“While we may streamline or even expand our offices and stores in business areas such as in mortgage and brokerage and within various geographical locations, we certainly have no plans to reduce our retail presence,” spokesman Ancel Martinez said.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia Bank in 2008 during the financial crisis. It has converted Wachovia’s network of branch offices to the Wells Fargo brand. Wells Fargo has about 9,000 locations in the U.S.

The company, which had net income of $4.1 billion in the fourth quarter, has set a goal of cutting costs by about $1.5 billion each quarter by year’s end.

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