Friday, April 19, 2013

Wells Fargo eyes Charlotte for agricultural lending hub

Charlotte is among cities that are in the running for a Wells Fargo food and agricultural lending hub that the company is planning to create as it makes a push to significantly expand such lending beyond the West Coast.

Wells - which already has similar hubs in California, Chicago and Dallas - wants a hub east of the Mississippi River, Rob Yraceburu, who oversees Wells’ National Food & Agribusiness Division from the West Coast, said Friday.

“On paper, Charlotte certainly is a prime candidate,” said Yraceburu, who on Thursday was named head of the division.

Wherever the hub is placed, it’s not expected to create, at least initially, a significant amount of jobs. Yraceburu estimated that Wells will likely employ 20 to 25 people to run the East Coast agricultural lending operation, and roughly 60 percent of those would be based in the hub.

San Francisco-based Wells is already a major food and agricultural lender in the U.S. The American Bankers Association, citing fourth-quarter 2012 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data, said Wells was the No. 1 U.S. farm lender, lending $8.9 billion.

Rabobank, which is based in the Netherlands, was No. 2, with $3.8 billion.

Four years after it acquired Wachovia, Wells is setting its sights on growing agricultural lending on the East Coast.

“Wachovia did not have a significant emphasis on agriculture in the East,” Yraceburu said.

He said Atlanta is also among cities being considered for the East Coast hub. But he noted that Charlotte is the East Coast headquarters for Wells. That might give it a strong advantage as Wells decides where to place the hub.

“We have a big base of leadership already in Charlotte,” he said. “We can leverage the support teams that we already have in Charlotte.”


Anonymous said...

this is just wells fishing for "incentives" to do what makes sense anyways to base the jobs in charlotte.