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Wells Fargo Bank History

Wells Fargo Bank is one of the largest in North America. The following focuses on the history and growth, available facilities and information on principal operating locations of Wells Fargo and Company.

Additionally, you will find links to other articles on this site and elsewhere related to Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo History

  • 1852 – Founded by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo (who also founded American Express) Wells Fargo and Company provided banking facilities in California. As well as banking facilities Wells Fargo managed the Overland Mail Company.
  • 1866 – By now Wells Fargo and Company controlled all major western stage lines were.
  • 1905 – As a result of merging with Nevada National Bank the Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank is established (banking and express affairs are now separated within Wells Fargo).
  • 1918 – The United States Government nationalised the Wells Fargo Franchise and it becomes the American Railway Express Agency. The Wells Fargo National Bank now concentrated on commercial markets.
  • 1923 – Wells Fargo and Union Trust is formed due to a merger between Wells Fargo Nevada and Union Trust Company.
  • 1960 – Another merger between Wells Fargo (name had been shortened in 1954) and American Trust Company results in the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust being formed.
  • 1962 – Wells Fargo shortens its name again, after changing to a federal banking charter becomes Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo and Company holding company is established with the assistance of the newly branded bank.

Wells Fargo’s Expansion in the 1980s

By now Wells Fargo now had banks in other states, not just California resulting in it being the seventh largest bank in the nation. Wells Fargo gained Barclays Bank of California and Crocker National Corporation from Midland Bank.

The 1990s and Beyond

Wells Fargo Online

By 1995 Wells Fargo had become one of the first banks to offer the facility of online banking. Customers could access their account information, pay bills and much more as a result of internet banking. In 1996 Wells Fargo acquired First Interstate for $17.3 billion.

The Northwest Corporation of Minnesota took on the Wells Fargo name after a merger in 1998. Northwest decided to keep the name as it was well known historically and nationally. Wells Fargo from now on had their headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Wells Fargo went on to acquire more organizations such as First Security Corporation (2000), H. D. Vest Financial Services (2001), CIT Construction (2007) and Century Bank (2008). In 2008, Wells Fargo acquired the Wachovia Corporation for $15.4 Billion.

Wells Fargo’s Current Operations

Wells Fargo has diversified over the years and now offers a range of financial services. It’s organised into 3 business sectors which are Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking and Consumer Finance.

Wells Fargo is committed to the environment and has been named Green Power Partner of the Year.