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Wells Fargo & Co

Wells Fargo & Company is a financial services company in the United States with consumer finance subsidiaries doing business in Canada, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Caribbean. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California.

Loans Funded by Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo History

Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Co. in 1852. Their company bought gold and old paper bank drafts. It also delivered gold and other valuable goods. The company was founded during San Francisco’s gold rush and agents opened Wells Fargo offices in the other new cities and mining camps of the West. In the 1860s, it operated an overland stagecoach line.

Wells Fargo used the rails extensively after the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. Wells Fargo became the country’s first nationwide express company in 1888. It connected over 2,500 communities in 25 states. By 1910 the Company’s network linked 6,000 locations, including new offices in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

The expansion was halted by the First World War. The U.S. government took over the delivery network as part of the war effort and left Wells Fargo with just one bank in San Francisco. The banking services survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Depression of the 1930’s and World War II.

Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation acquired Wells Fargo in 1998. Norwest changed its name to Wells Fargo, to capitalize on the 150-year history of the Wells Fargo name and trademark stagecoach. Norwest also moved its headquarters from Minneapolis to San Francisco, where the old Wells Fargo Bank had been based. As of 30 September 2005, Wells Fargo has 6,250 “stores”, 23 million customers, and 153,000 employees.

The Banker, one of the world’s leading financial journals, ranked Wells Fargo as the number 4 bank among US banks in 2005 and number 4 in 2004. The ranking was based on pre-tax profit figures for common stock, non-cumulative preference stock, share premium reserve, disclosed reserves including retaining earnings, minority interests and funds for general banking risk.

With $ 427,849 million in assets Wells Fargo was ranked 5 in asset size. For Soundness (capital/asset ratio) Wells Fargo ranked 156 in 2005 and 167 in 2004. Wells Fargo pre-tax profits were reported as $ 10,769 million. It ranked 27 for performance based on return on assets.

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