Wells Fargo Responds to Misleading Reports About Employee Recognition Events
Cancels Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Meeting in Las Vegas
San Francisco - February 3, 2009
Today's Associated Press story about Wells Fargo's recognition events is intentionally misleading. The event is not a "junket" for executives but a four-day business meeting and recognition event for hard-working team members who made homeownership achievable and sustainable for borrowers across the nation. In 2008 alone, the team members who were invited to this event and their colleagues produced $230 billion in mortgage loans for U.S. homeowners.
Through all economic cycles, our recognition events have been an important part of our company's culture. Late last year, we cancelled recognition events for 2009 except those where the financial commitment was so great that no meaningful savings would occur by canceling these events. We had scaled back the mortgage event, but in light of the current environment, we have now decided to cancel this event as well. We do not plan to have any other recognition events this year.
The Associated Press story also misleads readers by implying Wells Fargo used the government's investment to pay for these events. As we've said before, we've used the government's investment to lend to creditworthy customers and to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Since credit began contracting 18 months ago, Wells Fargo has made almost half a trillion dollars in new loan commitments and mortgage originations. Last quarter alone, we made $22 billion in loan commitments and $50 billion in mortgage originations. That's more than $70 billion or almost three times the amount of the U.S. Treasury's investment in Wells Fargo -- which has begun to benefit from our performance through the dividend we will pay to the Treasury this quarter.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 11,000 stores, over 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has the highest credit rating currently given to U.S. banks by Moody's Investors Service, "Aa1," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AA+."