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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-The $70-billion Wachovia Bank hopes to reduce annual expenses by some $100 million through the elimination of 8% of its work force nationally, but few of those jobs are in South Florida where it operates 22 branches in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

The bank has disclosed it expects to open at least 10 more branches in the region within the next 12 months, including initial offices in Miami-Dade County.

In Palm Beach County, where Wachovia operates 14 offices, new locations are being scouted in Wellington, Jupiter, Delray Beach and Boca Raton. Additions to the bank’s present eight-office lineup in Broward County have yet to be reported.

The expansion into Miami-Dade could be via acquisitions or new branch openings. Wachovia entered the area in 1998 by purchasing 1st United Bank of Boca Raton.

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