(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. plans to spend about $175 million to expand its retail-banking presence in and around Chicago.
The San Francisco-based lender intends to have at least 30 branches in the Chicago metropolitan area, up from seven currently, according to a statement Tuesday. The additions will create about 200 jobs, Wells Fargo said.
The move marks Wells Fargo’s first branch expansion under Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf, who took over the company four years ago with the task of moving it past a series of scandals. The firm had 4,455 branches at midyear, down from 5,352 at the end of 2019.
“Chicago is the third-largest city in the country, and we felt we should have a larger presence here,” Scharf said Tuesday at an event hosted by the Executives’ Club of Chicago. Wells Fargo’s goal is to have a branch within 15 minutes of 95% of Chicago’s population, he said.
The first of the new branches will open in downtown Chicago in mid-November, with plans for additional locations in the Bridgeport and Bronzeville neighborhoods, “which are historically under-invested areas,” Wells Fargo said.
Chicago has seen a rise in crime in recent years, alarming business leaders and sparking efforts by companies to improve security.
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