Wachovia Bank, one of the two banks headquartered in Charlotte NC is selling it’s banking operations to Citigroup. Wells Fargo.
While some media reports have used the headline of a “swift” fall, this really has been building for a while and for months now questions have swirled around whether or not Wachovia would be able to make it through the ongoing credit crisis.
Wachovia is not the first (and may not be the last) casualty of the rising defaults and losses, particularly tied to mortgages. All across the country banks have failed, merged, and been bought impacting cities nationwide.
But now, it’s hit home in Charlotte and we’re losing one of our two flagship banks. Of course Bank of America is still here and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere – they recently agreed to acquire Merril Lynch, just months after buying Countrywide and after one of the three largest banks in the country along with JP Morgan Chase and now Citigroup. Wells Fargo.
Banks across the country have been struggling with bad debt, credit concerns, and defaults. Nowhere is immune – not even Charlotte NC.
The question now is what does the sale of Wachovia to NY based Citigroup California based Wells Fargo mean for Charlotte? The short answer: change. Whether that’s good or bad will remain to be seen and will probably take some time to play out. For the employees of Wachovia that face losing their jobs this is most definitely an unbelievable time of turmoil, doubt and concern.
How will the banks left standing affect not only the lending industry and availability of credit but also the personal banking industry? With fewer players and choices, will consumers suffer in the form of increased fees and will service falter? I don’t have those answers and while many have opinions, it’s impossible to know for sure.
What’s next for Charlotte NC? The one definite is that change is a constant and just as Charlotte NC has changed and transformed in the past, it will continue to do so in the future.
Copyright©2008 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “A Big “What’s Next” for Charlotte NC”