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tozmervo

Wachovia-Wells Fargo Merger

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God help me, I couldn't find a thread about Wells taking over Wachovia (feel free to move this there, if it exists...). Anyway, CBJ has a mention about Wachovia's ATMs in Charlotte being replaced starting tomorrow. They'll be the Well's model, but will use the Wachovia: A Wells Fargo Company logo. I was reading elsewhere that the Wachovia brand was being replaced entirely in some Western states. I guess we get a little transition time before the wave goes away completely.

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I thought there was one, but it may have been heated or something (I stayed away from those heated topics during the crash last year, so I'm not sure).

But I couldn't find one either, so here it is. :)

The Wachovia brand will be phased out for Wells Fargo as they go through their merger. That has been well documented. North Carolina will likely be among the last to change over.

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The Wachovia brand will be phased out for Wells Fargo as they go through their merger. That has been well documented. North Carolina will likely be among the last to change over.

I'm reminded of a Wells Fargo/Wachovia merger newsletter I received a while back listing the conversion dates. North Carolina was dead last on the list. :)

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For any of you that subscribed to the theory that Wachovia got the short end of the stick compared to the other banks with the bailout, here's more fuel to the fire. It looks like Wachovia is really adding to the bottom line for Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo success has much to do with Wachovia

Julie Rose

Friday January 22, 2010

Wells Fargo has Charlotte-based Wachovia to thank, in large part, for its surprisingly strong earnings report this week. WFAE's Julie Rose explains:

While other mega-banks like Citigroup and Bank of America reported multi-billion dollar losses for the fourth quarter of 2009, Wells Fargo says it came out ahead by nearly $3 billion. And Wells CEO John Stumpf gave much of the credit to Wachovia.

"As a result of the merger with Wachovia, our business model is even stronger," said Stumpf, on a conference call with investors.

It turns out that the sub-prime and so-called "Pick a Pay" mortgage loans that Wachovia acquired when it bought GoldenWest in 2006 aren't as toxic as people expected. Ironically, it was shareholder anger over that acquisition that led to the ouster of then-Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson.

UNC Charlotte banking expert Tony Plath says Wells Fargo planned on big losses from those loans when it merged with Wachovia a year ago.

"What they've found now that they've owned it awhile is that it's performing better than what they had thought, so they're not having to increase their provision expense to account for bad loans in that portfolio because it's doing just fine," says Plath.

That's a big reason Wells Fargo had some of the best fourth quarter earnings numbers of the big banks, adds Plath.

Further more, Wells Fargo says costs tied to merging with Wachovia are 3 billion less than they originally estimated. All of which is good news for Wells Fargo, but holds a bit of sadness for Wachovia, says Plath. Wachovia was forced into the merger when it experienced a cash-flow crunch in late 2008.

"You know the tragedy here is Wachovia - if provided a little bit of temporary assistance back in September 2008 - probably could have weathered the storm and recovered quite nicely," says Plath. "Unfortunately they didn't make it over that speed bump. But if they had, it turns out their performance would have been better than most people had anticipated."

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I noticed that several Wachovia branches around town look they've had their outdoor signs converted to Wells Fargo, but that signage is being temporarily covered up with Wachovia logo banners. The only way to tell is that you can make out the red and yellow colored edges of the hidden signage, which of course are WF's colors.

Not sure when the official rollout date for the conversion in Charlotte is, but I was in NYC a few weeks ago and all their Wachovia branches had already been converted. As is discussed in this thread, NC was planned on being among the last to switch.

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I went down to Florida a few weeks back where the transition has already taken place to Wells Fargo. I must say it is kind of neat how they have the western style horse and carriage on their logo...and you'll notice how bright red their signage is too. like a big bright block of red. :-)

As a side note here in the Triangle about half the Wachovia branches have the Wells Fargo signage covered up by a Wachovia banner.

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