Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with central offices throughout the United States.[9] It is the world's fourth-largest bank by market capitalization and the third largest bank in the US by total assets.[10][11] Wells Fargo is ranked #26 on the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest US corporations by total revenue.[12] In July 2015, Wells Fargo became the world's largest bank by market capitalization, edging past ICBC,[11] before slipping behind JPMorgan Chase in September 2016, in the wake of a scandal involving the creation of over 2 million fake bank accounts by Wells Fargo employees.[10] Wells Fargo fell behind Bank of America to third by bank deposits in 2017[13] and behind Citigroup to fourth by total assets in 2018.[14]

The firm's primary operating subsidiary is national bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which designates its main office as Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Wells Fargo in its present form is a result of a merger between San Francisco–based Wells Fargo & Company and Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1998 and the subsequent 2008 acquisition of Charlotte-based Wachovia. Following the mergers, the company transferred its headquarters to Wells Fargo's headquarters in San Francisco and merged its operating subsidiary with Wells Fargo's operating subsidiary in Sioux Falls. Along with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four Banks" of the United States.[15] As of June 2018, it had 8,050 branches and 13,000 ATMs.[2] In 2018 the company had operations in 35 countries with over 70 million customers globally.[2]

In February 2014, Wells Fargo was named the world's most valuable bank brand for the second consecutive year[16] in The Banker and Brand Finance study of the top 500 banking brands.[17] In 2016, Wells Fargo ranked 7th on the Forbes Magazine Global 2000 list of largest public companies in the world and ranked 27th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the US.[7][18] In 2015, the company was ranked the 22nd most admired company in the world, and the 7th most respected company in the world.[7] As of December 2018, the company had a Standard & Poors credit rating of A−.[8] However, for a brief period in 2007, the company was the only AAA‑rated bank, reflecting the highest credit rating from two firms.[19]

On February 2, 2018, the US Federal Reserve Bank barred Wells Fargo from growing its nearly US$2 trillion-asset base any further, based upon years of misconduct, until Wells Fargo fixes its internal problems to the satisfaction of the Federal Reserve.[20] In April 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Labor had launched a probe into whether Wells Fargo was pushing its customers into more expensive retirement plans as well as into retirement funds managed by Wells Fargo itself.[21][22] Subsequently in May 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wells Fargo's business banking group had improperly altered documents about business clients in 2017 and early 2018.[23] In June 2018, Wells Fargo began retreating from retail banking in the Midwestern United States by announcing the sale of all its physical bank branch locations in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to Flagstar Bank.[24][13]

Wells Fargo & Company
Traded as
FoundedMarch 18, 1852 in New York, New York, US
Headquarters420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California, US
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Revenue Decrease US$86.40 billion (2018)
Decrease US$30.28 billion (2018)
Increase US$22.39 billion (2018)
Total assets Decrease US$1.895 trillion (2018)
Total equity Decrease US$197.06 billion (2018)
OwnerBerkshire Hathaway (10%)
Membersc. 70 million (2018)
Number of employees
c. 258,700 (2018)
Footnotes / references


Wells Fargo History Museums

The company operates 12 museums, most known as a Wells Fargo History Museum,[25] in its corporate buildings in Charlotte, North Carolina, Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, Los Angeles, California, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Arizona, Portland, Oregon, Sacramento, California and San Francisco, California. Displays include original stagecoaches, photographs, gold nuggets and mining artifacts, the Pony Express, telegraph equipment and historic bank artifacts. The company also operates a museum about company history in the Pony Express Terminal in Old Sacramento State Historic Park in Sacramento, California, which was the company's second office,[26] and the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California.[27]

Wells Fargo operates the Alaska Heritage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska, which features a large collection of Alaskan Native artifacts, ivory carvings and baskets, fine art by Alaskan artists, and displays about Wells Fargo history in the Alaskan Gold Rush era.[28]

Key dates

Apache Junction-Superstition Mountain Museum-Wells Fargo Bank
A late 19th Century Wells Fargo Bank in Apache Junction, Arizona
Phoenix-Wells Fargo Museum-1860 Wells fargo Stagecoach
1879 Wells Fargo Stagecoach on exhibit in the Wells Fargo Museum in Phoenix
Black Canyon City-Wells Fargo Stage Stop-1872
The Wells Fargo Stage Stop built in 1872 in Black Canyon City, Arizona
Wells Fargo bank in Chinatown, Houston, Texas
Wells Fargo in Fort Worth, TX
A remodeled Wells Fargo bank in Fort Worth, Texas
Wells Fargo in Laredo, TX IMG 1054
Wells Fargo in Laredo, Texas
  • 1852: Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, the two founders of American Express, formed Wells Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California.
  • 1860: Wells Fargo gained control of Butterfield Overland Mail Company, leading to operation of the western portion of the Pony Express.
  • 1866: "Grand consolidation" united Wells Fargo, Holladay, and Overland Mail stage lines under the Wells Fargo name.
  • 1905: Wells Fargo separated its banking and express operations; Wells Fargo's bank was merged with the Nevada National Bank to form the Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank.
  • 1918: As a wartime measure, the US Federal Government nationalized Wells Fargo's express franchise into a federal agency known as the US Railway Express Agency. The US Federal Government took control of the express company. The bank began rebuilding but with a focus on commercial markets. After the war, REA was privatized and continued service until 1975.
  • 1923: Wells Fargo Nevada merged with the Union Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank & Union Trust Company.
  • 1929: Northwest Bancorporation was formed as a banking association.
  • 1954: Wells Fargo & Union Trust shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • 1960: Wells Fargo merged with American Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company.
  • 1962: Wells Fargo American Trust again shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • 1968: Wells Fargo converted to a federal banking charter, becoming Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • 1969: Wells Fargo & Company holding company was formed, with Wells Fargo Bank as its main subsidiary.
  • 1982: Northwest Bancorporation acquired consumer finance firm Dial Finance which is renamed Norwest Financial Service the following year.
  • 1983: Northwest Bancorporation was renamed Norwest Corporation.
  • 1983: White Eagle, largest US bank heist to date took place at a Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 1986: Wells Fargo acquired Crocker National Corporation from Midland Bank.
  • 1987: Wells Fargo acquired the personal trust business of Bank of America.
  • 1988: Wells Fargo acquired Barclays Bank of California from Barclays plc.[29]
  • 1995: Wells Fargo became the first major US financial services firm to offer Internet banking.
  • 1996: Wells Fargo acquired First Interstate Bancorp for US$11.6 billion.[30]
  • 1998: Wells Fargo Bank was acquired by Norwest Corporation of Minneapolis.[31] (Norwest was the surviving company; however, it chose to continue business under the more well-known Wells Fargo name.)
  • 2000: Wells Fargo Bank acquired National Bank of Alaska.[32]
  • 2000: Wells Fargo acquired First Security Corporation.[33]
  • 2001: Wells Fargo acquired H.D. Vest Financial Services for US$128 million, but sold it in 2015 for US$580 million.[34]
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquired CIT's construction unit.[35]
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquired Placer Sierra Bank.
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquired Greater Bay Bancorp, which had US$7.4 billion in assets, in a US$1.5 billion transaction.[36][37]
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquired United Bancorporation of Wyoming.[38]
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquired Century Bancshares of Texas.[39]
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia Corporation.
  • 2009: Wells Fargo acquired North Coast Surety Insurance Services.[40]
  • 2012: Wells Fargo acquired Merlin Securities.[41][42]
  • 2012: Wells Fargo acquired stake in The Rock Creek Group LP.

Wachovia acquisition

2011-11-22 Wells Fargo ATMs lit at night
A former Wachovia branch converted to Wells Fargo in the fall of 2011 in Durham, North Carolina

On October 3, 2008, Wachovia agreed to be bought by Wells Fargo for about US$14.8 billion in an all-stock transaction. This news came four days after the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) made moves to have Citigroup buy Wachovia for US$2.1 billion. Citigroup protested Wachovia's agreement to sell itself to Wells Fargo and threatened legal action over the matter. However, the deal with Wells Fargo overwhelmingly won shareholder approval since it valued Wachovia at about seven times what Citigroup offered. To further ensure shareholder approval, Wachovia issued Wells Fargo preferred stock that holds 39.9% of the voting power in the company.[43]

On October 4, 2008, a New York state judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the transaction from going forward while the situation was sorted out.[44] Citigroup alleged that they had an exclusivity agreement with Wachovia that barred Wachovia from negotiating with other potential buyers. The injunction was overturned late in the evening on October 5, 2008, by New York state appeals court.[45] Citigroup and Wells Fargo then entered into negotiations brokered by the FDIC to reach an amicable solution to the impasse. Those negotiations failed. Sources say that Citigroup was unwilling to take on more risk than the US$42 billion that would have been the cap under the previous FDIC-backed deal (with the FDIC incurring all losses over US$42 billion). Citigroup did not block the merger, but indicated they would seek damages of US$60 billion for breach of an alleged exclusivity agreement with Wachovia.[46]

Investment by US Treasury Department during 2008 financial crisis

On October 28, 2008, Wells Fargo was the recipient of US$25 billion of Emergency Economic Stabilization Act funds in the form of a preferred stock purchase by the US Treasury Department.[47][48] Tests by the US Federal Government revealed that Wells Fargo needed an additional US$13.7 billion in order to remain well capitalized if the economy were to deteriorate further under stress test scenarios. On May 11, 2009, Wells Fargo announced an additional stock offering which was completed on May 13, 2009, raising US$8.6 billion in capital. The remaining US$4.9 billion in capital was planned to be raised through earnings. On Dec. 23, 2009, Wells Fargo redeemed the US$25 billion of preferred stock issued to the US Treasury. As part of the redemption of the preferred stock, Wells Fargo also paid accrued dividends of US$131.9 million, bringing the total dividends paid to US$1.441 billion since the preferred stock was issued in October 2008.[49]

History of Wells Fargo Securities

Wells Fargo Securities was established in 2009 to house Wells Fargo's capital markets group which it obtained during the Wachovia acquisition. Prior to that point, Wells Fargo had little to no participation in investment banking activities, though Wachovia had a well established investment banking practice which it operated under the Wachovia Securities banner.

Wachovia's institutional capital markets and investment banking business arose from the merger of Wachovia and First Union. First Union had bought Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co. on April 30, 1998 adding to its merger and acquisition, high yield, leveraged finance, equity underwriting, private placement, loan syndication, risk management, and public finance capabilities.[50]

Legacy components of Wells Fargo Securities include Wachovia Securities, Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co., Barrington Associates, Halsey, Stuart & Co., Leopold Cahn & Co., Bache & Co.. Prudential Securities, A.G. Edwards, Inc. and the investment banking arm of Citadel LLC.[51]

Duke Energy Center cropped
Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina home of Wells Fargo Securities[52]

Environmental record

In 2009, Wells Fargo ranked #1 among banks and insurance companies, and #13 overall, in Newsweek Magazine's inaugural "Green Rankings" of the country's 500 largest companies.[53] In 2013, the company was recognized by the EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership as a Climate Leadership Award winner, in the category "Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate)"; this recognition was for the company's aim to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its US operations by 35% by 2020 versus 2008 levels.[54]

As of 2013, Wells Fargo had provided more than US$6 billion in financing for environmentally beneficial business opportunities, including supporting 185 commercial-scale solar photovoltaic projects and 27 utility-scale wind projects nationwide.[55]

Wells Fargo has launched what it believes to be the first blog among its industry peers to report on its environmental stewardship and to solicit feedback and ideas from its stakeholders.[56][57]

"We want to be as open and clear as possible about our environmental efforts – both our accomplishments and challenges – and share our experiences, ideas and thoughts as we work to integrate environmental responsibility into everything we do," said Mary Wenzel, director of Environmental Affairs. "We also want to hear and learn from our customers. By working together, we can do even more to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations."

— Mary Wenzel, director of Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo, 2010 press release

Operations and services

Wells Fargo footprint
Map of Wells Fargo branches in August 2015

Wells Fargo delineates three different business segments when reporting results: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement.

Community banking

The Community Banking segment includes Regional Banking, Diversified Products, and Consumer Deposits groups, as well as Wells Fargo Customer Connection (formerly Wells Fargo Phone Bank, Wachovia Direct Access, the National Business Banking Center, and Credit Card Customer Service). Wells Fargo also has around 2,000 stand-alone mortgage branches throughout the country.[58] There are mini-branches located inside of other buildings, which are almost exclusively grocery stores, that usually contain ATMs, basic teller services, and, space permitting, an office for private meetings with customers.[59] In March 2017, Wells Fargo announced a plan to offer smartphone-based transactions with mobile wallets including Wells Fargo Wallet, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.[60]

Consumer lending

As of Q3 2011, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage was the largest retail mortgage lender in the United States, originating one out of every four home loans.[61] Wells Fargo services US$1.8 trillion in home mortgages, the second largest servicing portfolio in the US[62] It was reported in 2012 Wells Fargo reached 30% market share for US mortgages, however, the then-CEO John Stumpf had said the numbers were misleading because about half of that share represented the aggregation of smaller loans that were then sold on in the secondary market. In 2013, its share was closer to 22%; of which eight percentage points was aggregation.[63]

Wells Fargo private student loans

Wells Fargo private student loans are available to students to pay for college expenses, such as tuition, books, computers, or housing.[64] Loans are available for undergraduate, career and community colleges, graduate school, law school and medical school. Wells Fargo also provides private student loan consolidation and student loans for parents.

Equipment lending

Wells Fargo has various divisions that finance and lease equipment to different types of companies.[65] One venture is Wells Fargo Rail, which in 2015 agreed to the purchase of GE Capital Rail Services and merged in with First Union Rail.[66] In late 2015, it was announced that Wells Fargo would buy three GE units focused on business loans equipment financing.[67]

Wealth and Investment Management

Wells Fargo Advisors headguarters
Wells Fargo Advisors headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri

Wells Fargo offers investment products through its subsidiaries, Wells Fargo Investments, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, as well as through national broker/dealer firms. The company also serves high-net-worth individuals through its private bank and family wealth group.

Wells Fargo Advisors
The logo for Wells Fargo Advisors

Wells Fargo Advisors is the brokerage subsidiary of Wells Fargo, located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the third largest brokerage firm in the United States as of the third quarter of 2010 with US$1.1 trillion retail client assets under management.[7]

Wells Fargo Advisors was known as Wachovia Securities until May 1, 2009, when it legally changed names following the Wells Fargo's acquisition of Wachovia Corporation.

In September 2018, Wells Fargo announced to cut 26,450 jobs by 2020 to reduce costs by US$4 billion.[68]

Wells Fargo Asset Management

Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC
IndustryMutual funds
Area served

Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) is the trade name for the mutual fund division of Wells Fargo & Co. Mutual funds are offered under the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds brand name.

Wells Fargo Securities

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
IndustryInvestment Banking
Area served
NewYorkSeagram 04.30.2008
The Seagram Building: Home of Wells Fargo Securities' New York offices and trading floors

Wells Fargo Securities (WFS) is the investment banking division of Wells Fargo & Co. The size and financial performance of this group is not disclosed publicly, but analysts believe the investment banking group houses approximately 4,500 employees and generates between US$3 and US$4 billion per year in investment banking revenue. By comparison, two of Wells Fargo's largest competitors, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase generated approximately US$5.5 billion and US$6 billion respectively in 2011 (not including sales and trading revenue).[69] WFS headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina, with other US offices in New York, Minneapolis, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, with international offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.


A key part of Wells Fargo's business strategy is cross-selling, the practice of encouraging existing customers to buy additional banking products.[70] Customers inquiring about their checking account balance may be pitched mortgage deals and mortgage holders may be pitched credit card offers in an attempt to increase the customer's profitability to the bank.[71][72] Other banks have attempted to emulate Wells Fargo's cross-selling practices (described by The Wall Street Journal as a hard sell technique);[71] Forbes magazine describes Wells Fargo as "better than anyone" at the practice.[72]

International operations

Wells Fargo has banking services throughout the world, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto.[73][74] They operate back-offices in India and the Philippines with more than 3,000 staff.[75]


Wells Fargo operates under Charter #1, the first national bank charter issued in the United States. This charter was issued to First National Bank of Philadelphia on June 20, 1863, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.[76] Traditionally, acquiring banks assume the earliest issued charter number. Thus, the first charter passed from First National Bank of Philadelphia to Wells Fargo through its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia, which had inherited it through one of its many acquisitions.

Lawsuits, fines and controversies

Logan, Utah corner of Main & Center St
A Wells Fargo branch in Logan, Utah

1981 MAPS Wells Fargo embezzlement scandal

In 1981, it was discovered that a Wells Fargo assistant operations officer, Lloyd Benjamin "Ben" Lewis, had perpetrated one of the largest embezzlements in history, through its Beverly Drive branch. During 1978 - 1981, Lewis had successfully written phony debit and credit receipts to benefit boxing promoters Harold J. Smith ( Ross Eugene Fields) and Sam "Sammie" Marshall, chairman and president, respectively, of Muhammed Ali Professional Sports, Inc. (MAPS), of which Lewis was also listed as a director; Marshall, too, was a former employee of the same Wells Fargo branch as Lewis. In excess of US$300,000 was paid to Lewis, who pled guilty to embezzlement and conspiracy charges in 1981, and testified against his co-conspirators for a reduced five-year sentence.[77] (Boxer Muhammed Ali had received a fee for the use of his name, and had no other involvement with the organization.[78])

Higher costs charged to African-American and Hispanic borrowers

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against Wells Fargo on July 31, 2009, alleging that the bank steers African Americans and Hispanics into high-cost subprime loans. A Wells Fargo spokesman responded that "The policies, systems, and controls we have in place – including in Illinois – ensure race is not a factor..."[79] An affidavit filed in the case stated that loan officers had referred to black mortgage-seekers as "mud people," and the subprime loans as "ghetto loans." [80] According to Beth Jacobson, a loan officer at Wells Fargo interviewed for a report in The New York Times, "We just went right after them. Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches, because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans." The report goes on to present data from the city of Baltimore, where "more than half the properties subject to foreclosure on a Wells Fargo loan from 2005 to 2008 now stand vacant. And 71 percent of those are in predominantly black neighborhoods."[81] Wells Fargo agreed to pay US$125 million to subprime borrowers and US$50 million in direct down payment assistance in certain areas, for a total of US$175 million.[82][83]

Failure to monitor suspected money laundering

In a March 2010 agreement with US federal prosecutors, Wells Fargo acknowledged that between 2004 and 2007 Wachovia had failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers, including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine into Mexico.[84]

Overdraft fees

In August 2010, Wells Fargo was fined by US District Court judge William Alsup for overdraft practices designed to "gouge" consumers and "profiteer" at their expense, and for misleading consumers about how the bank processed transactions and assessed overdraft fees.[85][86][87]

Settlement and fines regarding mortgage servicing practices

On February 9, 2012, it was announced that the five largest mortgage servicers (Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Government and 49 states.[88] The settlement, known as the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS), required the servicers to provide about US$26 billion in relief to distressed homeowners and in direct payments to the federal and state governments. This settlement amount makes the NMS the second largest civil settlement in US history, only trailing the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.[89] The five banks were also required to comply with 305 new mortgage servicing standards. Oklahoma held out and agreed to settle with the banks separately.

On April 5, 2012, a federal judge ordered Wells Fargo to pay US$3.1 million in punitive damages over a single loan, one of the largest fines for a bank ever for mortgaging service misconduct.[90] Elizabeth Magner, a federal bankruptcy judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana, cited the bank's behavior as "highly reprehensible",[91] stating that Wells Fargo has taken advantage of borrowers who rely on the bank's accurate calculations. She went on to add, "perhaps more disturbing is Wells Fargo's refusal to voluntarily correct its errors. It prefers to rely on the ignorance of borrowers or their inability to fund a challenge to its demands, rather than voluntarily relinquish gains obtained through improper accounting methods."[92]

SEC fine due to inadequate risk disclosures

On August 14, 2012, Wells Fargo agreed to pay around US$6.5 million to settle US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges that in 2007 it sold risky mortgage-backed securities without fully realizing their dangers.[93][94]

Lawsuit by FHA over loan underwriting

On October 9, 2012, the US Federal Government sued the bank under the False Claims Act at the federal court in Manhattan, New York. The suit alleges that Wells Fargo defrauded the US Federal Housing Administration (FHA) over the past ten years, underwriting over 100,000 FHA backed loans when over half did not qualify for the program. This suit is the third allegation levied against Wells Fargo in 2012.[95]

In October 2012, Wells Fargo was sued by United States Attorney Preet Bharara over questionable mortgage deals.[96]

Lawsuit due to premium inflation on forced place insurance

In April 2013, Wells Fargo settled a suit with 24,000 Florida homeowners alongside insurer QBE, in which Wells Fargo was accused of inflating premiums on forced-place insurance.[97]

Lawsuit regarding excessive overdraft fees

In May 2013, Wells Fargo paid US$203 million to settle class-action litigation accusing the bank of imposing excessive overdraft fees on checking-account customers. Also in May, the New York attorney-general, Eric Schneiderman, announced a lawsuit against Wells Fargo over alleged violations of the national mortgage settlement, a US$25 billion deal struck between 49 state attorneys and the five-largest mortgage servicers in the US. Schneidermann claimed Wells Fargo had violated rules over giving fair and timely serving.[63]

2015 Violation of New York credit card laws

In February 2015, Wells Fargo agreed to pay US$4 million for violations where an affiliate took interest in the homes of borrowers in exchange for opening credit card accounts for the homeowners. This is illegal according to New York credit card laws. There was a US$2 million penalty with the other US$2 million going towards restitution to customers.[98]

Executive compensation

With CEO John Stumpf being paid 473 times more than the median employee, Wells Fargo ranks number 33 among the S&P 500 companies for CEO—employee pay inequality. In October 2014, a Wells Fargo employee earning US$15 per hour emailed the CEO—copying 200,000 other employees—asking that all employees be given a US$10,000 per year raise taken from a portion of annual corporate profits to address wage stagnation and income inequality. After being contacted by the media, Wells Fargo responded that all employees receive "market competitive" pay and benefits significantly above US federal minimums.[99][100]

Tax avoidance and lobbying

In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Wells Fargo for spending US$11 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting US$681 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of US$49 billion, laying off 6,385 workers since 2008, and increasing executive pay by 180% to US$49.8 million in 2010 for its top five executives.[101] As of 2014 however, at an effective tax rate of 31.2% of its income, Wells Fargo is the fourth-largest payer of corporation tax in the US.[102]

Prison industry investment

The GEO Group, Inc., a multi-national provider of for-profit private prisons, received investments made by Wells Fargo mutual funds on behalf of clients, not investments made by Wells Fargo and Company, according to company statements.[103] By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than 4.4 million shares worth US$86.7 million.[104] As of November, 2012, the latest SEC filings reveal that Wells Fargo has divested 33% of its dispositive holdings of GEO's stock, which reduces Wells Fargo's holdings to 4.98% of Geo Group's common stock. By reducing its holdings to less than 5%, Wells Fargo will no longer be required to disclose some financial dealings with GEO.[105]

While a coalition of organizations, National People's Action Campaign, have seen some success in pressuring Wells Fargo to divest from private prison companies like GEO Group, the company continues to make such investments.[106]

SEC settlement for insider trading case

In 2015, an analyst at Wells Fargo settled an insider trading case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The former employee was charged with insider trading alongside an ex-Wells Fargo trader.[107] Sadis & Goldberg obtained a settlement that permitted the client to continue in securities industry, while neither admitting nor denying one charge of negligence-based § 17(a)(3) claim, and paying a US$75,000 civil penalty[108]

Wells Fargo account fraud scandal

In September 2016, Wells Fargo was issued a combined total of US$185 million in fines for creating over 1.5 million checking and savings accounts and 500,000 credit cards that its customers never authorized. The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued US$100 million in fines, the largest in the agency's five-year history, along with US$50 million in fines from the City and County of Los Angeles, and US$35 million in fines from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency.[109] The scandal was caused by an incentive-compensation program for employees to create new accounts. It led to the firing of nearly 5,300 employees and US$5 million being set aside for customer refunds on fees for accounts the customers never wanted.[110] Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the department, retired in July 2016 and received US$124.6 million in stock, options, and restricted Wells Fargo shares as a retirement package.[111][112] On October 12, 2016, John Stumpf, the then Chairman and CEO, announced that he would be retiring amidst the controversies involving his company. It was announced by Wells Fargo that President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy J. Sloan would succeed, effective immediately. Following the scandal, applications for credit cards and checking accounts at the bank plummeted dramatically.[113] In response to the event, the Better Business Bureau dropped accreditation of the bank,[114] S&P Global Ratings lowered its outlook for Wells Fargo to negative from stable,[115] and several states and cities across the US ended business relations with the company.[116] An investigation by the Wells Fargo board of directors, the report of which was released in April 2017, primarily blamed Stumpf, whom it said had not responded to evidence of wrongdoing in the consumer services division, and Tolstedt, who was said to have knowingly set impossible sales goals and refused to respond when subordinates disagreed with them.[117] The board chose to use a clawback clause in the retirement contracts of Stumpf and Tolstedt to recover US$75 million worth of cash and stock from the former executives.[117]

Racketeering lawsuit for mortgage appraisal overcharges

In November 2016, Wells Fargo agreed to pay US$50 million to settle a racketeering lawsuit in which the bank was accused of overcharging hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on their mortgage loans. While banks are allowed to charge homeowners for such appraisals, Wells Fargo frequently charged homeowners US$95 to US$125 on appraisals for which the bank had been charged US$50 or less. The plaintiffs had sought triple damages under the U S Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act on grounds that sending invoices and statements with fraudulently concealed fees constituted mail and wire fraud sufficient to allege racketeering.[118]

Dakota Access Pipeline investment

Wells Fargo is a lender on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile-long (1,886 km) underground oil pipeline transport system in North Dakota. The pipeline has been controversial regarding its potential impact on the environment.[119]

In February 2017, Seattle, Washington's city council unanimously voted to not renew its contract with Wells Fargo "in a move that cites the bank's role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project as well as its "creation of millions of bogus accounts." and saying the bidding process for its next banking partner will involve "social responsibility." The City Council of Davis, California, took a similar action voting unanimously to find a new bank to handle its accounts by the end of 2017.[120]

Failure to comply with document security requirements

In December 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Wells Fargo US$5.5 million for failing to store electronic documents in a "write once, read many" format, which makes it impossible to alter or destroy records after they are written.[121]

Connections to the gun industry and NRA

Wells Fargo is the top banker for US gun makers and the National Rifle Association (NRA). From December 2012 through February 2018 it reportedly helped two of the biggest firearms and ammunition companies obtain US$431.1 million in loans and bonds. It also created a US$28-million line of credit for the NRA and operates the organization's primary accounts.[122]

In a March 2018 statement Wells Fargo said, "Any solutions on how to address this epidemic will be complicated. This is why our company believes the best way to make progress on these issues is through the political and legislative process. ... We plan to engage our customers that legally manufacture firearms and other stakeholders on what we can do together to promote better gun safety for our communities." [122] Wells Fargo's CEO subsequently said that the bank would provide its gun clients with feedback from employees and investors.[123]

Discontent among female workers

In June 2018, about a dozen female Wells Fargo executives from the wealth management division met in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the minimal presence of women occupying senior roles within the company. The meeting, dubbed "the meeting of 12", represented the majority of the regional managing directors, of which 12 out of 45 are women.[124] Wells Fargo had previously been investigating reports of gender bias in the division in the months leading up to the meeting.[125] The women reported that they had been turned down for top jobs despite their qualifications, and instead the roles were occupied by men.[125] There were also complaints against company president Jay Welker, who is also the head of the Wells Fargo wealth management division, due to his sexist statements regarding female employees. The female workers claimed that he called them "girls" and said that they "should be at home taking care of their children."[125]

See also


  1. ^ "2018 annual results" (PDF). Wells Fargo & Company.
  2. ^ a b c "Wells Fargo Today (2nd Quarter 2018)" (PDF). Wells Fargo & Company. June 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. ^ Wells Fargo & Company 2015 Form 10-K Annual Report
  4. ^ "Contact Info For Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf And Friends". September 24, 2008.
  5. ^ "Wells Fargo & Company, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 1, 2018". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Stempel, Jonathan. "Buffett becomes Bank of America's top shareholder". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  7. ^ a b c d "Wells Fargo Q1 earnings report 2018" (PDF). Wells Fargo. 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Debt Rating Summary (3rd Quarter 2018)". Wells Fargo & Company. 2018. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Wells Fargo & Company, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 27, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Laura J. Keller and Katherine Chiglinsky (September 13, 2016). "Wells Fargo Eclipsed by JPMorgan as World's Most Valuable Bank". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
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External links

2018–19 Philadelphia 76ers season

The 2018–19 Philadelphia 76ers season is the 70th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In the 2017–18 season the 76ers were led by Joel Embiid, who played in his first All-Star Game, and 2018 Rookie of The Year Ben Simmons. The 76ers clinched a playoff spot for the second consecutive season with a 130-125 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on March 17th, 2019.

History of Wells Fargo

For a general overview of the activities of the current company see the main entry under Wells Fargo.This article outlines the history of Wells Fargo & Company from its origins to its merger with Norwest Corporation and beyond. The new company chose to retain the name of "Wells Fargo" and so this article also includes the history after the merger.

Tales of Wells Fargo

Tales of Wells Fargo is an American Western television series starring Dale Robertson that ran from 1957 to 1962 on NBC. Produced by Revue Productions, the series aired in a half-hour format until its final season when it expanded to an hour and switched from black and white to color.


Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo and Company in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States, based on total assets. Wachovia provided a broad range of banking, asset management, wealth management, and corporate and investment banking products and services. At its height, it was one of the largest providers of financial services in the United States, operating financial centers in 21 states and Washington, D.C., with locations from Connecticut to Florida and west to California. Wachovia provided global services through more than 40 offices around the world.

The acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo was completed on December 31, 2008, after a government-forced sale to avoid Wachovia's failure. The Wachovia brand was absorbed into the Wells Fargo brand in a process that lasted three years: on October 15, 2011, the last Wachovia branches in North Carolina were converted to Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo (film)

Wells Fargo is a 1937 American Western film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Joel McCrea, Bob Burns and Frances Dee.

Wells Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa)

Wells Fargo Arena is a multi-purpose arena in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. Part of the Iowa Events Center, the arena opened on July 12, 2005, at a cost of $117 million. Named for title sponsor Wells Fargo, the arena replaced the aging Veterans Memorial Auditorium as the Des Moines area's primary venue for sporting events and concerts.

Wells Fargo Arena seats 15,181 people for hockey and arena football games, 16,110 for basketball games, and as many as 16,980 for concerts. It also features The Fort Restaurant, which provides views of the Des Moines River and the Iowa State Capitol. The restaurant opened on October 6, 2005, coinciding with the Iowa Stars' inaugural home game.The arena is also connected to the rest of the Iowa Events Center as well as downtown Des Moines through the city's Skywalk system.

Wells Fargo Arena (Tempe, Arizona)

Wells Fargo Arena (formerly ASU Activity Center) is a 14,000-seat multi-purpose arena located at 600 E Veterans Way in Tempe, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

Constructed in the spring of 1974 as the ASU Activity Center and at the cost of $8 million, it is the home of multiple Arizona State University athletic teams, to include men's basketball, women's basketball, women's volleyball, women's gymnastics, and men's wrestling. The facility also plays host to graduation ceremonies and a variety of concerts and shows. The building replaced Sun Devil Gym as the primary arena for the Sun Devils' basketball team.

Naming rights for the arena were purchased by Wells Fargo & Co. in 1997.

Wells Fargo Center

Wells Fargo Center may refer to:

Wells Fargo Center (Los Angeles), California

Wells Fargo Center (Sacramento), California

Wells Fargo Center (San Francisco), California

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, California

Wells Fargo Center (Duluth), one of the tallest buildings in Duluth, Minnesota

Wells Fargo Center (Denver), Colorado

Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville), Florida

Wells Fargo Center (Miami), Florida

Wells Fargo Center (Tampa), Florida

Wells Fargo Center (Minneapolis), Minnesota

Wells Fargo Center (Billings), Montana

One Wells Fargo Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Two Wells Fargo Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Three Wells Fargo Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Wells Fargo Center (Winston-Salem), North Carolina

Wells Fargo Center (Portland, Oregon)

Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, a multi-purpose indoor sports arena

Wells Fargo Center (Salt Lake City), Utah

Wells Fargo Center (Charlotte), Virginia

Wells Fargo Center (Norfolk), one of the tallest buildings in Norfolk, Virginia

Wells Fargo Center (Seattle), Washington

Wells Fargo Center (Denver)

Wells Fargo Center is a building located in Denver, Colorado, United States. It resembles a cash register and is known locally as the "Cash Register Building". It is 698 feet (213 m) high, the third tallest building in Denver. It is shorter than the Republic Plaza building at 714 feet (218 m) in height and the CenturyLink Tower, at 709 feet (216 m). The building sits on a hill, making its overall elevation higher than the two taller buildings, however, its structural height makes it shorter than the other two buildings. It is 52 stories tall.

The building was designed by architect Philip Johnson, under a master plan by I. M. Pei, and was completed in 1983. As it was originally designed to be for a downtown area in Texas, a heated roof is necessary to prevent snow from accumulating and sliding dangerously off the curved crown. Located at 1700 Lincoln Street, a skybridge over Lincoln Street connects the Wells Fargo Center to the older Mile High Center at 1700 Broadway; which houses a food court, Starbucks, a small museum featuring artifacts, and memorabilia from Wells Fargo history, and the Downtown Denver branch of Wells Fargo Bank. Both buildings have large atria constructed in the same cash register style.

The building has its own unique zip code, 80274.Building owners Beacon Capital Partners undertook a three-year renovation of the lobby which was completed in 2016. As part of the renovation, experience design firm ESI Design created an 8-story digital art installation in the building's glass atrium and added new furniture and lighting. New York artist Enoc Perez (Puerto Rican, born 1967) was commissioned to create 14 paintings and 5 sculptures for the site.

Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)

Wells Fargo Center (originally Independent Life Building) is a skyscraper in the downtown area of Jacksonville, Florida, at the southeast corner of Bay and Laura streets. Standing 535 feet (163 meters) tall, it is the city's second-tallest building. It was formerly known as the Modis Building until 2011, when Wells Fargo acquired the naming rights.

Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)

The Wells Fargo Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Philadelphia. It is the home arena of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (AFL) and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The arena lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live!.

The Wells Fargo Center, originally called Spectrum II, was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the 76ers and Flyers, on the former site of John F. Kennedy Stadium at a cost of $210 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure). It is owned by Comcast Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers, and is operated by its arena-management subsidiary, Global Spectrum. Since opening, it has been known by a number of different names through naming rights deals and bank mergers, including CoreStates Center from 1996 to 1998, First Union Center from 1998 to 2003, and Wachovia Center from 2003 to 2010. Since 2010, naming rights have been held by financial services company Wells Fargo, after their merger with Wachovia.

In addition to hosting home games for its main tenants, the arena has been the site of a number of other notable athletic events including Games 1 and 2 from the 1997 and Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals, and various collegiate events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Wells Fargo Center has hosted two political conventions, hosting the 2000 Republican National Convention and 2016 Democratic National Convention. The arena is a regular venue for concerts and WWE events. The arena has a concert seating capacity of 21,000 seated and at least 21,500 standing.

Wells Fargo Center (Portland, Oregon)

Wells Fargo Center is a 40-story, 166.4 m (546 ft) tower and a five-story adjacent office building with three levels of parking below the surface in Portland, Oregon. The tower became the tallest building in the state of Oregon when it was completed in 1972.

Wells Fargo Center (Salt Lake City)

Wells Fargo Center is a skyscraper located in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It was built in 1998 and is the tallest skyscraper in Utah, standing 24 stories above street level and 121.9 m (400 ft) at roof level, 128.7 m (422 ft) at its highest point excluding the antenna.

Wells Fargo Center (Seattle)

Wells Fargo Center is a skyscraper in Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington. Formerly named First Interstate Center when completed 36 years ago in 1983, the 47-story, 574-foot (175 m) tower is now the ninth-tallest building in the city, and has 24 elevators and 941,000 square feet (87,400 m2) of rentable space. The design work was done by The McKinley Architects, and it was owned by Chicago-based EQ Office.

In 2013, the building was purchased by Canada's Ivanhoé Cambridge from Beacon Capital Partners of Boston. The building was renamed after First Interstate Bancorp was taken over by Wells Fargo in 1996.

The exterior façade Wells Fargo Center is composed of a six-sided, steel-framed tower that features a combination of tinted continuous double-glazed glass and polished spring rose granite panels. As is common with buildings in downtown Seattle, the Wells Fargo Center rests on a slope. The eastern entrance facing Third Avenue is slightly more than two stories higher than the Western side facing Second Avenue. On the west side, the building has a public hill-climb on two flights of outdoor escalators that were encased in clear tubes until 2006 when they were updated with a simpler, yet more modern glass roof. The building has three levels of outdoor plazas.

The site was previously occupied by the 12-story Olympic National Life building, which was demolished by implosion on the morning of Sunday, February 28, 1982. It was the first demolition by implosion in downtown Seattle. One of the city's first steel skyscrapers, it was built in 1906 and was also known as the American Savings Bank and the Empire Building.

Wells Fargo Championship

The Wells Fargo Championship is a professional golf tournament in North Carolina on the PGA Tour. Held in early May at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, it has attracted some of the top players on the tour. It debuted in 2003 as the Wachovia Championship and was known in 2009 and 2010 as the Quail Hollow Championship. In 2017, the tournament offered a $7.5 million purse with a winner's share of $1.35 million.

From 2004–06 and 2011–13, the tournament ended in a playoff. Additionally, the event is known to have one of the tougher finishes on tour with 16, 17, and 18, commonly known as the "Green Mile," often ranked among the PGA Tour's toughest holes. The majority of the charitable proceeds from the tournament benefit Teach for America. The tournament is organized by Champions for Education, Inc.In 2017, the tournament was held on the coast in Wilmington at Eagle Point Golf Club, as Quail Hollow hosted the PGA Championship in mid-August. Wilmington hosted the Azalea Open on tour in the 1950s and 1960s at the Donald Ross-designed Cape Fear Country Club; it was a tune-up event for The Masters through 1965, part of the city's Azalea Festival. Quail Hollow will host again in 2018 after a one year absence.

Wells Fargo Plaza (Houston)

The Wells Fargo Plaza, formerly the Allied Bank Plaza and First Interstate Bank Plaza, is a skyscraper located at 1000 Louisiana Street in Downtown Houston, Texas in the United States.

This building is currently the 20th-tallest Building in the United States, the second tallest building in Texas and Houston, after Houston's JPMorgan Chase Tower, and the tallest all-glass building in the Western Hemisphere. It is the tallest building named for Wells Fargo.From street level, the building is 302.4 meters (992 ft) tall and contains 71 floors. It extends four more stories below street level. Only the Wells Fargo Plaza offers direct access from the street to the Houston tunnel system (a series of underground walkways connecting many of downtown Houston's office towers); otherwise, entry points are from street-level stairs, escalators, and elevators located inside buildings that are connected to the tunnel.Wells Fargo Plaza features a wide variety of fine amenities for its tenants including The Houstonian Lite Health Club located on the 14th floor.

Sky lobbies on the 34/35th and 58/59th floors are publicly accessible and offer views of Downtown Houston. These sky lobbies are served by double-decker elevators and primarily serve as transfer floors to local elevators.

Wells Fargo account fraud scandal

The Wells Fargo account fraud scandal is an ongoing controversy brought about by the creation of millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts on behalf of Wells Fargo clients without their consent. News of the fraud became widely known in late 2016 after various regulatory bodies, including the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), fined the company a combined US$185 million as a result of the illegal activity. The company has faced and faces additional civil and criminal suits.

Wells Fargo clients began to notice the fraud after being charged unanticipated fees and receiving unexpected credit or debit cards or lines of credit. Initial reports blamed individual Wells Fargo branch workers and managers for the problem, as well as sales incentives associated with selling multiple "solutions" or financial products. This blame was later shifted to a top-down pressure from higher-level management to open as many accounts as possible through cross-selling.

The bank took relatively few risks in the years leading up to the 2008 Financial Crisis, which led to an image of stability on Wall Street and in the financial world. The bank's stable reputation was tarnished by the widespread fraud, the subsequent coverage, and the revelation of other fraudulent practices employed by the company. The controversy resulted in the resignation of CEO John Stumpf, an investigation into the bank led by U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential election candidate Elizabeth Warren, a number of settlements between Wells Fargo and various parties, and pledges from new management to reform the bank.

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