(Motley Fool) Wells Fargo has long been known among analysts and commentators as one of the nation's most efficient banks. As a result, when its efficiency started to slip recently, the bank responded by announcing an initiative to cut annual expenses by $2 billion by the end of 2019.
Part of that initiative is to prune its branch network. At the end of the second quarter, Wells Fargo operated the largest branch network in the United States, with 5,977 locations. That's meaningfully more than the bank with the second highest number of branches, JPMorgan Chase, with 5,217 locations.
Wells Fargo is already making progress on this goal. During the first six months of this year, it closed 93 branches, including 54 in the second quarter. It's now on track to close a total of 200 branches this year. And it plans to close an additional 250 branches in 2018.
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