CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Charlotte could be facing a big blow to the banking industry. Wells Fargo is expected to announce major layoffs across the board.

Thousands across the entire company could get the pink slip and bank insiders tell FOX 46 that some of those cuts could happen in the Queen City.

More than 27,000 people in the Charlotte area work for Wells Fargo. It’s the city’s second-largest employer.

FOX 46 spoke with UNCC economic professor John Connaughton on Monday, who says the bank is still trying to fix its image after a massive account fraud investigation.

“You would have thought when that happened they would have taken a good hard look inside and made some substantial changes and done a lot of analysis of ‘what’s wrong with our management setup?’ And two, ‘what’s our overall plan going forward in terms of how we can be successful as a bank not being able to game the system?’ And they didn’t do any of that,” Connaughton said.

He says that this kind of news brings down morale company-wide and can lead to bigger issues within the organization.

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“It’s devastating. It’s devastating,” he said.

Connaughton says this could take a big toll on the middle class workers in Charlotte, who have been comfortable and secure during the pandemic, still able to maintain their jobs while working from home.

“Now,  you run into this situation you thought was secure in a COVID environment, and all of a sudden, the business model is changing and they’re making a right turn and going in a different direction,” he said. “It’s going to be really difficult for those that lost jobs to go out and get another job.”

FOX 46 was told by Wells Fargo they will hold a regularly scheduled, routine town hall on Thursday.

Wells Fargo released a statement to FOX 46 that reads in part:

“We are at the beginning of a multiyear effort to build a stronger, more efficient company and improve the experience for our customers, employees, communities, and shareholders. The work will consist of a broad range of near, medium- and long-term actions, including workforce reductions, to bring our expenses more in line with our peers and create a company that is more nimble, streamlined, and customer-focused.

As part of our efforts to strengthen the foundation of our company, we will have workforce reductions in most geographies across our footprint and nearly all of our business lines and functions, and expect to reduce the size of our workforce through a combination of attrition, the elimination of open roles, and job displacements. We are executing this work in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, and we will communicate openly and honestly with impacted employees and provide severance, career assistance, and other services to assist them.”