Wells Fargo said Wednesday it will add more than 200 jobs in Georgia — mostly in metro Atlanta — over the next six months as it sees improvement in the mortgage market and rising demand for small business lending and other services.
The additions are part of a broader hiring push for more mortgage bankers, small business lenders, loan underwriters and financial advisers across the East Coast by the San Francisco-based bank, a spokesman said.
Wells Fargo is the largest mortgage lender in the nation as well as in metro Atlanta, and region president Mike Donnelly said the bank sees room for growth.
The additional staff means the bank can provide better service to consumers and business clients, he said. The staff additions come as the industry norm is to reduce branch employees as lenders search for ways to trim costs.
“We see the economy starting to turn and improve, and we want to stay ahead of that,” Donnelly said. Wells Fargo is the second-largest bank in metro Atlanta by deposits. The bank added about 500 new jobs in Georgia branches in late 2010 and early 2011 following its takeover of Wachovia.
Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks are among the larger banks operating in metro Atlanta that have seen a boost to their bottom lines thanks in part to a recovering housing market and a healthy supply of home purchase and mortgage refinance activity.
Interest rates have remained near historic lows, prices generally are improving though remain in metro Atlanta at levels not seen since the late 1990s, and buyers are beginning to regain confidence, industry watchers have said.
Home prices dipped in October after months of steady improvement, according to a closely watched national index. A report for December by the Atlanta Board of Realtors found sales dipped but median sale prices improved compared to the same month in 2011.
The mortgage industry also has contracted as banks lick their wounds from the housing collapse and litigation and regulatory sanctions that have followed sloppy lending and foreclosure practices over the past decade.
For more information or to apply online, visit wellsfargo.com.
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