McCrory speaks out about Wachovia's impact

CHARLOTTE The banking capital of the southeast is facing its toughest test yet as Wachovia prepares for what could be major job cuts following the Citigroup rescue.

Charlotte's mayor admits the Wachovia, Citigroup merger leaves a lot of unanswered questions and it may be weeks before we learn the real impact.

But McCrory says he's confident the queen city can pull through these turbulent times.

"There is no doubt that the Wachovia announcement was a body blow to our city, but especially the many employees that are worrying about their future jobs," McCrory said. "We do not know what the job loss impact will be I'm concerned your jobs on the line."

But says the alternative, Wachovia going under, would have been disastrous.

"Had this merger not occurred just two days ago, we might not have a Wachovia bank at all and believe me those ramifications would have been much worse both for the city and the thousands of employees working throughout North Carolina," McCrory said.

It could be weeks before workers know the real impact of the deal, but McCrory is optimistic.

"I felt very pleased after my first meeting with the Citigroup executives and their commitment to Charlotte and North Carolina," he said.

Wachovia will still have a major presence in charlotte. Their brokerage firm, Wachovia Securities, will keep its name and its headquarters in the Queen City.

But the future of the new tower slated to house Wachovia executive offices and a new trading floor is uncertain.

"One of the many questions is where will the traders be in New York or in Charlotte or somewhere else," McCrory said.

The mayor says much of the building is already leased to other businesses including Duke Energy Company. McCrory says there is no reason to believe construction will stop.

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