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Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational banking and financial services holding company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with "hubquarters" throughout the country. It is the third largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. 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. Wells Fargo ranked 10th among the Forbes Global 2000 (2015) and the 30th largest company in the United States, according to Fortune 500 (2015).
In 2007 it was the only bank in the United States to be rated AAA by S&P, though its rating has since been lowered to AA- in light of the financial crisis of 2007–08. The firm's primary U.S. operating subsidiary isnational bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which designates its main office as Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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-basedWachovia. 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.
Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four Banks" of the United States, along with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup—its main competitors. The company operates across 35 countries and has over 70 million customers globally. In 2012, Wells Fargo locations had more than 9,000 retail branches and over 12,000 automated teller machines in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In July, 2015, Wells Fargo became the world's largest bank by market capitalization, edging past ICBC.
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.
Wells Fargo has various divisions that finance and lease equipment to all manners of companies. One venture is Wells Fargo Rail, which in 2015 completed the purchase of GE Capital Rail Services and merged in withFirst Union Rail.