Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the US by assets and the second largest bank by market cap. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home mortgage servicing, and debit card. It is the only bank in the United States to be rated AAA by S&P.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California (its bank, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is legally chartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Wells Fargo is a result of a merger between California-based Wells Fargo & Co. and Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1998. The new company chose to keep the name Wells Fargo, to capitalize on the 150-year history of the nationally-recognized Wells Fargo name and its trademark stagecoach. After the merger, the company maintained its headquarters in San Francisco and charter in Sioux Falls.
As of 2009, Wells Fargo has 6,650 retail branches (called stores by Wells Fargo), 12,260 Automated Teller Machines, 276,000 employees and over 48 million customers. Wells Fargo currently operates stores and ATMs under the Wells Fargo and Wachovia names. Wells Fargo was named as "The World's Safest US Bank" based on long-term foreign currency ratings from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's and the long-term bank deposit ratings from Moody’s Investors Service for the year 2007.