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Charlotte Observer - McCrory: Strong Wachovia Presence is 'Essential'

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Charlotte Observer - McCrory: Strong Wachovia Presence is 'Essential'

April Bethea

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said he is still trying to learn the impact of today's announcement that Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia.

But, he told reporters this morning, that "it is essential that Wachovia maintains a strong presence in North Carolina."

McCrory said he planned to talk to Citigroup head Vikram Pandit today to learn more about the company's plans for Charlotte. He also is talking with Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan and Jim Fain, the state's secretary of commerce, to discuss steps officials can take immediately to "sell our strengths of what Charlotte has to offer" and "to make sure Charlotte is part of the equation."

McCrory said he thinks "Charlotte is still a major banking town," noting that Wachovia Securities will remain headquartered in Charlotte and Citigroup has said it will maintain some operations here.

McCrory said he hopes to keep as many employees in Charlotte as possible, but said he doesn't yet know how many jobs could be affected by today's announcement.

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