When Wells, Fargo & Co. was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo in 1852, it was clear from the outset that the pioneering banking and delivery company would transform both the banking industry and the American West. The original company offered banking services, such as buying gold and selling paper bank drafts that were considered as good as gold, as well express delivery of gold and other valuables. More than 160 years later, Wells Fargo has surpassed its regional roots to become a leading national financial institution with a bevy of products and millions of customers in nearly every state.
History of Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo originally opened its doors for business in the booming city of San Francisco during the gold rush, but it wasn’t long before Wells Fargo agents opened up new offices in the mining camps and other blossoming cities of the West. During the gold rush days, Wells Fargo developed its sterling reputation by dealing with people’s money in a quick and professional manner.
A decade later, the company developed its stagecoach line. Wells Fargo became famous for the speed in which it sent its business. It wasn’t long before the company took over operations of the Pony Express throughout the West. Shortly after, Wells Fargo expanded to become the first nationwide express company.
In the 20th century, Wells Fargo focused its attention to the banking arm of its business, and by 1923, it had become a premier San Francisco institution. In the midst of 1960s prosperity, Wells Fargo expanded to become a northern California regional bank, with branches from the mountains to the coast. In the 1980s, the growing company expanded even further, becoming a state-wide bank and the seventh largest bank in the country.
Wells Fargo of Today
Today, Wells Fargo is one of the largest and most financially healthy banking institutions in the nation, as the company has fully embraced mobile banking and the digital revolution. In fact, Wells Fargo currently has 6,200 in-store branches and more than 12,000 ATMs in nearly every state.
What once was a regional bank of the West not so long ago has become a national leader by offering a plethora of both time-tested and innovative banking solutions. Wells Fargo’s innovative mobile and Internet banking platforms are a perfect example of the company’s pioneering spirit. Customers can conveniently login online or from their smartphones and check their balances, transfer funds, browse the markets, and much more.
Checking and Savings Accounts
The backbone for any bank is its checking and savings offerings, and Wells Fargo has plenty. The following are Wells Fargo’s checking account options:
- Value Checking – This is the company’s most basic checking account, which offers account holders a Platinum debit card and two free months of convenient online bill pay services.
- Way2Save Checking – Bank customers can link their savings and checking account together while enjoying free bill pay, providing them with a convenient way to manage their funds.
- Preferred Checking – This account allows customers to earn 0.01 percent APY on their entire balances.
These are all terrific options, but the PMA account is Wells Fargo’s premier checking account. It is an interest earning checking account that comes with discounted loan rates, bonus interest rates on savings accounts, brokerage benefits, and much more.
Wells Fargo also offers numerous savings account options that suit the needs of every individual. From the basic Way2Save account for people with low account balances to the High Yield savings account for individuals looking for premier rates, Wells Fargo provides every customer with a product that is geared towards their needs.
CDs and Investments
The Wells Fargo of today is much more than a bank; it is a premier financial institution that provides customers with a wide array of investment opportunities. Wells Fargo members can benefit from any number of the following investment options:
- CDs – These are ideal for those looking for a low-risk guaranteed rate of return on their money.
- IRAs – Wells Fargo provides standard, self-directed, and Roth IRAs for individuals desiring tax benefits and more lucrative returns.
- WellsTrade – Wells Fargo’s proprietary online trading platform allows clients to directly control their investments for a fee of $8.95 per trade.
- Advantage Funds – The company’s Advantage Funds account allows investors to benefit from more than 40 four and five star funds, world-class fund managers, and a wealth of investment solutions.
Personal and Business Loans
As is the case with any bank, Wells Fargo derives much of its profits from its loan solutions. From standard personal loans and student loans to mortgage loans and business lines of credit, Wells Fargo has a myriad of loans for its current and prospective customers to choose from. Thanks to the company’s strong financial health, it can offer low interest rates and approve more personal loans than a number of its currently struggling competitors.
More and more people are become Wells Fargo banking customers each and every day. The company’s fiscal health, wide array of products, innovative banking solutions, and wealth of knowledge continues to drive its expansion in the 21st century. As one of the only banks that survived the 2008 financial crisis without the need for government assistance, you can rest assured that the professionals at Wells Fargo certainly know how to manage the company and your funds.