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Wells Fargo & Company is an American international banking and financial services holding company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with "hubquarters" throughout the country. It is the world's second largest bank by market capitalization and the third largest bank in the U.S. by assets. In July 2015, Wells Fargo became the world's largest bank by market capitalization, edging past ICBC, before slipping behind JP Morgan Chase in September 2016, in the wake of a scandal involving the alleged creation of over 2 million fake bank accounts by thousands of Wells Fargo employees. Wells Fargo surpassed Citigroup Inc. to become the third-largest U.S. bank by assets at the end of 2015. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home mortgage servicing, and debit cards. The firm's primary U.S.operating subsidiary is national bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which designates its main office as Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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 largest companies in the United States. In 2015, the company was ranked the 22nd most admired company in the world, and the 7th most respected company in the world.

As of October 2015, the company had a credit rating of AA−. However, for a brief period in 2007, the company was the only AAA-rated bank.

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. As of December 31, 2015, it had 8,700 retail branches and 13,000 automated teller machines. The company operates across 35 countries and has over 70 million customers globally.

In February 2014, Wells Fargo was named the world's most valuable bank brand for the second year running in The Banker and Brand Finance study of the top 500 banking brands.

Current operations

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 the 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. There are many 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.

Consumer Lending

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the largest retail mortgage lender in the United States, as of Q3 2011, originating one out of every four home loans. Wells Fargo services $1.8 trillion in home mortgages, the 2nd largest servicing portfolio in the U.S. It was reported in 2012 Wells Fargo reached 30% market share for US mortgages, however, CEO John Stumpf has said the numbers are misleading because about half of that share represented the aggregation of smaller loans that were then sold on in the secondary market. Now, in 2013 its share is closer to 22%; of which eight percentage points is aggregation.

Wells Fargo private student loans

Wells Fargo private student loans help students pay for eligible college expenses, such as; tuition, books, computers, or housing. 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.

Wholesale banking

Its wholesale banking segment contains products sold to large and middle market commercial companies, as well as to consumers on a wholesale basis. This includes lending, treasury management, mutual funds, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, corporate and institutional trust services, and capital markets and investment banking services through Wells Fargo Securities. One area that is very profitable to Wells Fargo, however, is asset-based lending: lending to large companies using accounts receivable and inventory as collateral, though less traditional assets are often included in the collateral package. Historically, this type of lending has been done when normal routes of raising funds, such as the Capital Markets or unsecured bank loans, have been exhausted. The main business unit associated with this activity is Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Wells Fargo also owns Eastdil Secured, which is described as a "real estate investment bank", but is essentially one of the largest commercial real estate brokers for very large transactions (such as the purchase and sale of large Class-A office buildings in central business districts throughout the United States).

Small business loans

Wells Fargo produced over 1,900 loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) from late 2012 to early 2013.

Equipment lending

Wells Fargo has various divisions that finance and lease equipment to all manner of companies. One venture is Wells Fargo Rail, which in 2015 completed the purchase of GE Capital Rail Services and merged in with First Union Rail.

Wealth and Investment Management

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. Mutual funds are offered under the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds brand name. The company also serves high-net-worth individuals through its private bank and family wealth group.

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 $1.1 trillion retail client assets under management.

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.

Wells Fargo Securities

Wells Fargo Securities ("WFS") is the investment banking division of Wells Fargo & Co. The size and financial performance of the group is not disclosed publicly, but analysts believe the investment banking group houses approximately 4,500 employees and generates between $3 and $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 $5.5 billion and $6 billion respectively in 2011 (not including sales and trading revenue). WFS headquarters is based in Charlotte, North Carolina with other U.S. offices in New York, Minneapolis, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and international offices in London and Hong Kong.


A key part of Wells Fargo's business strategy is cross-selling, the practice of encouraging existing customers to buy additional banking products. 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, and to make it more difficult for the customer to switch to a different bank. Other banks have attempted to emulate Wells Fargo's cross-selling practices (described by The Wall Street Journal as a hard sell technique); Forbes magazine describes Wells Fargo as "better than anyone" at the practice.

International operations

Wells Fargo provides banking services throughout the world, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, and India.


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. 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.

Start Trading


Foundation Year 1852
Trading Platforms WellsTrade Website, Mobile Trading
Reliability Rate АА-
Authorised Capital
Brocker Fee 8.95
Exchange Fee
Withdrawal Fee
Minimum Deposit 0
Mobile Trading
Seminars, Education
Phone 1-800-869-3557, 1-800-956-4442, 1-800-877-4833
Address San Francisco, California, United States
Website https://www.wellsfargo.com

User Reviews

   eorr    2016/9/30 13:27   

I just had Wells Fargo charge me about $1,200 for two stock trades. The "advisor" told me they needed to make money off of me somehow and that's how they were going to do it. I closed out the account and wrote a letter to the WF CEO. I got a phone call and a letter from "underlings" letting me know they were looking into the matter. Today I got a letter saying that their investigation determined that the charge was within their fee schedule. Really? It's not within any fee schedule I ever saw. Wells Fargo is out of control. DO NOT BANK WITH THEM. THE CEO TALKS ABOUT INTEGRITY WHILE HIS INSTITUTION HAS NONE. BOYCOTT WELLS FARGO!!!

   IncomeAddict    2016/9/30 13:27   

I've used 5 online brokerage firms and in all 5 nothing went perfectly. 3 having free trades. Wells Fargo is the worst of the 3 and the worst of the 5. I eventually moved the majority of my holdings to Merrill Edge (free trade over $25K) which has been much better. Other that I've used are Zecco, Tradeking, ETrade and Merrill Edge as previously mentioned.

   S.T.    2016/9/30 13:27   

DO NOT OPEN A BROKERAGE ACCOUNT AT WELLS FARGO!! I did and lived to regret it. Within 8 months, my broker had bought 30+ positions without my knowledge. I lost nearly $40,000 from my IRA and brokerage accounts, to fees and market losses. My broker was throwing my money around like it was confetti. This person (because of WF's business model) was completely dishonest; a real con artist.
when confronted with the loses, he lied! Worst of all, he bought unit investment trusts with my money. These are the assets from hell! You can't find them listed anywhere, even on Morningstar. They are 2 year duration so if you lose money, it's gone forever. I can say more, but this is sufficient: Wells Fargo are a bunch of crooks!

   unhappy    2016/9/30 13:27   

I opened a brokerage account with Wells Fargo in 2008. Back there I was making significant deposits monthly. My brokerage was very competent. Suddenly they assigned me another one without consulting me. When I asked they said that the brokerage changed her business model to a minimum of $500,000. I was never able to reach to the new one - Never returned my calls. Finally after I complained several times they assigned another one. He seemed very nice until my investment reached maturity with the option to roll over. It has matured for a weak now and I still do not know what his suggestions are. In the past a weak before reaching maturity they would advise me so we would have a plan of what to do with the funds. I find this situation unacceptable. My money is in money market for a weak. Any recommendation for a brokerage firm that is competent and at the same time is happy to manage less than a $100,000?

   choco    2016/9/30 13:27   

Customer service is very poor. Just headache to open account. They have set up 2 accounts by mistake and set up wrong bank account to transfer funds. After a few month opening they are telling me that they need a copy of SSN card...though they know our SSN. If they really need it why they did not tell me when I opened the account? It is also strange that they did not request me by writing for such a formal document, instead they just keep phoning me.

   Edward    2016/9/30 13:27   

This is 3 stars until you need help of ANY sort. They reply to you a day or two later, generally saying they cannot answer your question, but call the 800 number. If you get through to a trader within ten minutes, you must have lived numerous virtuous past lives. They are always having "unusual" call volume.

As for execution, I have NEVER before (in nearly half a century of investing-had the experience I recently had with Wells Trade. Placed a limit buy. Stock dropped to my price, dropped a penny lower, another penny, then three cents lower--traded there several times. No execution.

You get what you pay for--and, if you dare use their 800 number, all the aggravation you ever didn't want.

   IncomeInvestor    2016/9/30 13:27   

100 free trades per account and no maintenance fee for accounts greater than $25K
Since Wachovia and Wells Fargo merged, there are plenty of banks in which to make deposits
Terrible website
Transfers do not take place immediately
Poor Customer Service
DRIPs are limited

What's Retarded
Wells Fargo manages my company's 401K program. The 401K website is excellent (average share price included)

The only thing that helps balance out the poor website are the free trades - for that maybe the 3 is justified
I would hate to see the brokerages that received ratings lower than a 3

   CJ    2016/9/30 13:27   


If you do, be ready to:

- Review EVERY trade and EVERY statement and don't expect them to correct errors. And if they do try to correct an error the correction won't necessarily be correct.

- Incorrect/erroneous withholding on ETF's, partnerships, and REIT's (and after they incorrectly deduct money from your account don't expect them to accurately correct it);

- Weak and incomplete trading platform. Not all trades are available, not all trading exchanges are available

- High commissions, extra high commissions for pink sheets

Bottom line: These guys are the worst and they don't care. They over charge, under serve, and make a ton of mistakes - at your loss.

   Hussain    2016/9/30 13:27   

It is a ripoff brokerage firms. As an investor, it took me one year to move my securities out of WellsTrade. They charge high commisions per trade comparing to the other brokerages, charge annual fees, paid $95 to move my securities out but luckly the other brokerage is willing to pay for it. After I moved all my shares out, fractions of shares left in the porfolio which I am willing to get rid of because the other brokerage do not accept fractional shares, so I told them to close my account or liquidate my porfolio so they had me pay $9 for each fractional shares. YES, THAT IS HOW THEY SAY GOODBUY. Too much fees all over the place, a brokerage firm should let you focus on your objective and profit from the market but WellsTrade will milk you up!


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