Wells Fargo closing downtown Farmington branch on June 2

Official says fate of employees has not been decided

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
A person approaches the Wells Fargo Bank main branch  at 100 E. Broadway Ave. in Farmington on the afternoon of March 12, 2021. The branch will shut down at noon on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
  • Wells Fargo's main Farmington branch at 100 E. Broadway Ave. will close at noon on Wednesday, June 2.
  • Wells Fargo employs 911 people across the state.
  • A company official said the building will be sold.

FARMINGTON — Downtown Farmington will lose one of its more prominent businesses later this spring as Wells Fargo officials have announced they plan on closing their branch on East Broadway Avenue.

Franchesca Pancham, a communications adviser for Wells Fargo New Mexico, said the company's main Farmington branch at 100 E. Broadway Ave. will close at noon on Wednesday, June 2. She described the move as a consolidation in an email to The Daily Times.

"This is not an easy decision or one that we take lightly," she wrote. "We continually evaluate our branch network, and make adjustments based on changing customer needs, market factors and economic trends. This process leads to both expansions and consolidations. While the branch continues to be important in serving our customers' needs, we're finding that customers increasingly use digital tools for transactions such as bank deposits. As a result more transactions are happening outside the branch."

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The main branch of Wells Fargo Bank in Farmington at  100 E. Broadway Ave. will close on June 2, 2021 under the bank's consolidation plan, a company spokesperson confirmed.

It was unclear how many employees would be affected by the move, as Wells Fargo does not disclose staffing numbers at specific locations for security reasons. Nor was it clear whether those employees would be laid off or absorbed by the company's other branches in Farmington.

"At this time we are reviewing staffing needs and will determine what impact this consolidation may have on employees at the Farmington Main Branch," Pancham said.

She said Wells Fargo employs 911 people across the state.

Warren Unsicker, the city's economic development director, said the news was unexpected. A nearly $12 million project to renovate the downtown district and replace much of its infrastructure recently was completed, and city officials have expressed hope that the changes will revitalize the area.

"I hadn't heard that was coming," Unsicker said. "It is unfortunate, and obviously, we don't know what went into their thinking and reasoning. … But we are thankful that right now there is an interest in downtown."

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Warren Unsicker.

He said the city looks forward to partnering with a business owner or developer for the location who shares the city's vision of what downtown can become.

Pancham said Wells Fargo will place the property on the market. The building in which the branch is located is one of downtown's larger structures, and the branch includes a drive-thru operation across Broadway Avenue.

Unsicker said he considers the property to be one of downtown's more desirable locations.

"I think it will be," he said. "It's pretty central to downtown. We're trying to develop housing and office space that's not smack on Main Street."

Unsicker reiterated his disappointment at the news and said he hopes for the best for the bank employees who will be affected by the closure. But he said he believes the building has the potential for a variety of purposes, and he looks forward to discussing those possibilities with interested parties.

The closure means customers who have been using the downtown branch will have to conduct their business at Wells Fargo's other San Juan County locations, the closest of which is a branch at 501 E. 20th St. The bank also operates one more Farmington location, one in Bloomfield, one in Kirtland and two in Shiprock, according to its website.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription