No quick answers as banks battle to take over Wachovia

A banking brawl broke out over the surprise announcement Friday that Wells Fargo plans to buy Wachovia for $15 billion, an agreement that upsets the previously stunning Wachovia-Citigroup deal announced Monday.

In an interview, Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf said Charlotte-based Wachovia and San Francisco-based Wells have signed a merger agreement and that “we're very confident that this will lead to a combination.” Wells said it expects the deal to be completed by year's end.

Citigroup shot back with a statement demanding Wachovia and Wells terminate the transaction.

It seems likely that one of the banks will win Wachovia. But there is no consensus on what that new presence would look like or how many jobs would be lost. Each side promises to base headquarters of some operations in Charlotte but is not specifying job cuts, which typically come with mega-mergers.

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