Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a US-based financial services company with headquarters in San Francisco, with consumer finance subsidiaries that operate in Canada, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Caribbean. The company is listed on the stock index S & P 500. By market capitalization, the U.S. financial institution in July 2013 with U.S. $ 236 billion, the largest bank in the world.

The Bank is one of the 28 major banks, which by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as " systemically important financial institution" ( systemically important financial institution) were classified. Therefore it is subject to special monitoring and stringent requirements on the level of equity.


The roots of the company date back to the year 1852. At that time, William Fargo and Henry Wells founded the western United States, the Joint Undertaking Wells Fargo Company, to offer transport and (later) financial services. In particular, the stagecoaches of the Company during the street scene in the so-called Wild West.

The present company is the result of the acquisition of California-based Wells Fargo & Company by the date Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1998. Though mostly the acquired business takes the name of the purchaser, to Norwest decided instead for its name in favor of the acquired Wells abandon Fargo, as the nearly 150 -year history of the name Wells Fargo stagecoach and their stories from the Wild West appeared attractive.

As of December 31, 2011 Wells Fargo had more than 9,000 branches, 70 million customers and 264,200 employees. It also offers over the Internet and other distribution channels of services.

The end of 2008 took Wells Fargo to U.S. competitors Wachovia.

Financial crisis

The financial crisis also affected Wells Fargo. On 28 October 2008, the Bank received $ 25 billion from the U.S. government provided.

Wells Fargo announced on 15 December 2009 to repay the state aid received during the financial crisis. The $ 25 billion in taxpayer money from the bank rescue plan of the U.S. government to be settled as quickly as possible. To finance a capital increase of $ 10.4 billion was planned.

In September 2011, the rating agency Moody's downgraded the credit rating of long-term loans from Wells Fargo by one notch from "A1 " to " A2". It is less likely that the U.S. government would intervene to keep a troubled bank before a crisis.


An employee of the historical forwarding service plays a role in the opera La Fanciulla del West by Giacomo Puccini (premiered 1910). The transport company is also mentioned in the song The Wells Fargo Wagon from the musical The Music Man by Meredith Willson (premiered 1957).

The American television series Tales of Wells Fargo was sent at NBC in 1957 to 1962. She ran from 1965 under the title of Wells Fargo also in some regional programs of ARD.

The company plays a significant role in the Lucky Luke Band The stagecoach.