ST. CLOUD -- Wells Fargo employees in the St. Cloud area will begin earning at least $16 an hour by the end of the year.

The company announced plans Wednesday to raise minimum hourly pay levels to between $16 and $20 an hour in a majority of cities around the United States.

"Our employees are our most valuable resource, and these pay increases are just one way we are investing in our people and ensuring that Wells Fargo continues to be a great place to work," said CEO Charlie Scharf.

The wage hikes will be tiered based on certain factors, including the cost of living in individual markets, and will affect roughly 20,000 Wells Fargo employees.

Wells Fargo also announced plans to lower or keep flat healthcare premiums for around 70 percent of workers.

The banking giant raised minimum hourly base pay for employees to $15 an hour in 2018.

Wells Fargo has three branches in St. Cloud and one in Sauk Rapids.

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