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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Norwest Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company

Thursday, September 17, 1998

Transcript of Applicant Presentation

                                                                      6

          

         17    APPLICANT PRESENTATION:

         18        

         19                  MR. HAZEN:  Thank you very much.  Good      09:06:44

         20        morning.  I'm Paul Hazen.  I'm the chairman of Wells  09:06:46

         21        Fargo.  Les Biller is here, and Les is the president  09:06:48

         22        of Norwest.  He and I have coordinated our remarks    09:06:54

         23        so that we believe that between us we will have       09:06:58

         24        covered everything that's relevant with regard to     09:07:02

         25        the proposed merger between our two companies.        09:07:04



     
     



                                                                      7

          1             I'm going to divide my remarks this morning      09:07:06

          2        into two parts.  First, I'll describe what the        09:07:10

          3        Norwest-Wells Fargo merger will mean for the          09:07:12

          4        communities where we do business, specifically what   09:07:14

          5        values will guide the new company as we move          09:07:20

          6        forward.  And, secondly, I'll also describe Wells     09:07:22

          7        Fargo's record since 1852 of keeping its promises to  09:07:24

          8        the communities where it does business, and assure    09:07:30

          9        you that we'll continue to use best practices with    09:07:32

         10        respect to CRA lending, services, and investments.    09:07:36

         11             The new Wells Fargo & Company will have one of   09:07:40

         12        the most widely known brand names in the financial    09:07:42

         13        services industry, a name that has endured for 146    09:07:46

         14        years.  Since the gold rush, Westerners have relied   09:07:50

         15        on Wells Fargo for honest, reliable banking service.  09:07:54

         16        It may surprise you to know that Minnesotans, too,    09:07:58

         17        once counted on Wells Fargo for express delivery      09:08:02

         18        services.                                             09:08:04

         19             If I may, I'd like to give you a one-minute      09:08:04

         20        history of Wells Fargo.  In 1852, Henry Wells and     09:08:08

         21        William Fargo founded Wells Fargo & Company to        09:08:12

         22        provide reliable banking and express services to      09:08:16

         23        Western pioneers, and they opened their first office  09:08:18

         24        in San Francisco.                                     09:08:22

         25             By 1858, as Minnesota became a state, Wells      09:08:22



     
     



                                                                      8

          1        Fargo had established 78 offices.  These offices and  09:08:28

          2        stage coaches linked mining camps and towns all over  09:08:32

          3        the West.  In May 1869, the completion of the         09:08:34

          4        transcontinental railroad allowed Wells Fargo         09:08:38

          5        express messengers to ride the rails.  By April 1,    09:08:42

          6        1897, Wells Fargo was operating in the upper Midwest  09:08:46

          7        aboard the trains of the Chicago Great Western        09:08:50

          8        Railroad, and had 31 offices in Minnesota.  The Twin  09:08:52

          9        Cities locations became part of Wells Fargo's ocean   09:08:56

         10        to ocean express network of offices around the        09:09:00

         11        country and around the world.  By 1910, Wells Fargo   09:09:02

         12        had offices in 194 Minnesota communities, from Adams  09:09:06

         13        to Zumbrota.                                          09:09:10

         14             In 1918, Wells Fargo changed abruptly when as a  09:09:12

         15        wartime measure due to the first world war, the       09:09:18

         16        federal government took over all of the 10,000 then   09:09:22

         17        Wells Fargo offices throughout the U.S. as our        09:09:24

         18        express operations, and the Wells Fargo name          09:09:28

         19        disappeared from depots and storefronts throughout    09:09:30

         20        Minnesota.  However, Wells Fargo's banking            09:09:34

         21        operations continued in the West, carrying on the     09:09:36

         22        most famous name in Western banking.                  09:09:40

         23             This year our history adds a new chapter with    09:09:42

         24        our merger with Norwest.  We want to build a strong   09:09:44

         25        foundation for the new Wells Fargo that will last a   09:09:48



     
     



                                                                      9

          1        long time.  We pledge to make the transition as       09:09:52

          2        smooth as possible, and I can assure you that we      09:09:54

          3        will take the time to do it right.                    09:09:58

          4             In bringing Norwest and Wells Fargo together,    09:10:00

          5        we find that our cultures have much in common.        09:10:06

          6        These similarities include high performance           09:10:08

          7        orientation, commitments to customer service, high    09:10:12

          8        quality of team member talent, and strong records of  09:10:14

          9        community involvement.                                09:10:18

         10             One value that we find that Norwest and Wells    09:10:18

         11        Fargo share is our belief that people are the best    09:10:22

         12        competitive advantage we have.  At Wells Fargo, our   09:10:24

         13        employees do whatever it takes to come through for    09:10:28

         14        the customer.                                         09:10:30

         15             Both Wells Fargo and Norwest believe in the      09:10:32

         16        strong linkage between a diverse work force and       09:10:36

         17        business success in an increasingly competitive       09:10:38

         18        global economy.  For Wells Fargo, nowhere is this     09:10:44

         19        more evident than in California, a state that is a    09:10:48

         20        true mosaic of ethnicities.  The new Wells Fargo      09:10:50

         21        will continue in its effort to recruit, retain and    09:10:54

         22        promote women and minority employees in key           09:10:58

         23        positions throughout the company in all of our        09:11:02

         24        combined markets, just as we have since the           09:11:04

         25        company's founding in 1852.                           09:11:08



     
     



                                                                     10

          1             It is true that our banks do have different      09:11:12

          2        business models, based on our geographic origins and  09:11:14

          3        the different types of businesses we are in.  For     09:11:18

          4        example, Norwest grew up here in the Midwest with     09:11:20

          5        more community banks than Wells Fargo's               09:11:24

          6        predominantly urban markets.  But that does not mean  09:11:26

          7        that the new Wells Fargo would adopt an urban model   09:11:30

          8        in areas where a community banking model would work   09:11:32

          9        better.  Both banks have been looking for a model to  09:11:36

         10        cultivate the other's marketplace.  We'll gain by     09:11:38

         11        sharing our different business models that fit each   09:11:42

         12        type of community in combining them into a common     09:11:44

         13        operating philosophy.                                 09:11:48

         14             Our commitment to all of the communities in      09:11:48

         15        which we do business is to take best practices,       09:11:50

         16        those things that work well in both organizations,    09:11:54

         17        and apply them to the new Wells Fargo.                09:11:56

         18             First, let me emphasize that the new Wells       09:12:02

         19        Fargo will honor all of Wells Fargo's and Norwest's   09:12:04

         20        previous CRA commitments.  Wells Fargo is a leader    09:12:06

         21        in outreach to women and minority-owned small         09:12:10

         22        businesses in the West, if not the nation.  These     09:12:14

         23        commitments include a $10 billion, ten-year goal for  09:12:16

         24        women-owned small businesses, a $1 billion, six-year  09:12:22

         25        goal for providing loans to Latino-owned small        09:12:26



     
     



                                                                     11

          1        businesses, and a recently announced one billion,     09:12:28

          2        12-year goal for loans to African-American-owned      09:12:34

          3        small businesses.  The new Wells Fargo will continue  09:12:36

          4        to aggressively market its products to low income     09:12:38

          5        and minority communities to ensure equal access to    09:12:42

          6        credit and banking services to all citizens.          09:12:44

          7             It is worth noting that in 1990, Wells Fargo     09:12:48

          8        was the first major bank in the country to announce   09:12:50

          9        a multi-year CRA lending goal, and the first bank to  09:12:54

         10        exceed its goal.  Our CRA goals and lending results   09:12:58

         11        are shared with the communities we serve on an        09:13:02

         12        ongoing basis.  You can find state-by-state results   09:13:04

         13        of our lending, service, and investment programs at   09:13:08

         14        our web site, which is www.wellsfargo.com.            09:13:12

         15             Some have asked, how can the new Wells Fargo     09:13:18

         16        set goals when no one knows what will happen ten      09:13:22

         17        years from now?  Well, we can't predict the future,   09:13:24

         18        but we do know that we'll be there to meet the        09:13:28

         19        credit needs of communities and consumers, however    09:13:30

         20        those needs change.  We know that from our past       09:13:34

         21        experience with our CRA program.  It is flexible and  09:13:36

         22        can accommodate new or special local programs as      09:13:40

         23        needed.                                               09:13:42

         24             Wells Fargo's most current CRA lending goal,     09:13:44

         25        which is $45 billion over ten years, was announced    09:13:48



     
     



                                                                     12

          1        in December 1995, at the time of our merger with      09:13:50

          2        First Interstate.  This goal is a public commitment   09:13:52

          3        to provide community lending and investments through  09:13:58

          4        a comprehensive and focused CRA strategy that         09:14:00

          5        capitalizes on the bank's unique small business and   09:14:04

          6        community development lending strengths.  We will     09:14:08

          7        continue to honor this commitment.                    09:14:10

          8             To date, Wells Fargo has accomplished over 16    09:14:14

          9        billion of this goal, resulting in the creation of    09:14:16

         10        over 340,000 jobs and over 13,000 affordable living   09:14:18

         11        spaces.                                               09:14:26

         12             Wells Fargo and Norwest intend, through our      09:14:26

         13        current and future community reinvestment programs,   09:14:28

         14        to be the unrivaled banking leader in CRA lending     09:14:32

         15        throughout our new 21-state territory.  Wells Fargo   09:14:36

         16        has achieved outstanding CRA ratings from its         09:14:38

         17        primary regulator and will continue to do so.         09:14:42

         18             Let me give you examples from two areas, small   09:14:46

         19        business and community development lending, where     09:14:48

         20        Wells Fargo has exemplified community reinvestment    09:14:50

         21        best practices.                                       09:14:54

         22             Since 1996, Wells Fargo has lent over $11        09:14:56

         23        billion to small businesses and small farms.          09:15:00

         24        According to the most current public data available,  09:15:02

         25        Wells Fargo provided more small business loan         09:15:06



     
     



                                                                     13

          1        dollars to low and moderate income communities in     09:15:08

          2        the U.S. than any other bank in both 1996 and 1997.   09:15:10

          3        With Norwest's expertise in small farm lending,       09:15:16

          4        Wells Fargo expects to outlocal the nationals and     09:15:20

          5        become the premier small business and small farm      09:15:22

          6        bank in the nation.                                   09:15:26

          7             Wells Fargo is already a national leader in      09:15:28

          8        community development financing for both the          09:15:32

          9        construction of multi-family housing units and        09:15:32

         10        financing to middle market businesses for job         09:15:36

         11        creation.  We believe that the creation of a          09:15:38

         12        community development corporation, CDC, will further  09:15:40

         13        enhance our community programs.  Through the          09:15:44

         14        creation of a new national CDC, Wells Fargo will      09:15:46

         15        lend to nonprofit organizations that develop          09:15:50

         16        affordable houses or provide technical assistance to  09:15:52

         17        micro and very small businesses in low income         09:15:56

         18        communities. 

         19             Additionally, Wells Fargo has developed a        09:16:00

         20        portfolio of diverse and innovative CRA investments   09:16:04

         21        to meet local community financing needs.  Currently   09:16:08

         22        Wells Fargo has a CRA investment portfolio of $213    09:16:10

         23        million towards its $500 million, ten-year CRA        09:16:16

         24        investment goal.                                      09:16:20

         25             A significant portion of Wells Fargo's           09:16:20



     
     



                                                                     14

          1        investments are focused on rural markets.  Wells      09:16:22

          2        Fargo is the largest bank investor in the Rural       09:16:24

          3        Community Assistance Corporation, RCAC, a nonprofit   09:16:28

          4        agency dedicated to improving the lives of low        09:16:32

          5        income, rural Americans.  RCAC provides technical     09:16:36

          6        assistance, loans, grants, and operational support    09:16:40

          7        for organizations in rural communities.               09:16:44

          8             When it comes to CRA contributions, both Wells   09:16:46

          9        Fargo and Norwest have solid records of making        09:16:46

         10        grants throughout their markets.  In 1995, Wells      09:16:50

         11        Fargo pledged that 75 percent of our contributions    09:16:52

         12        would support credit counseling, affordable housing,  09:16:56

         13        job training programs, schools serving low to         09:17:00

         14        moderate income students, and programs that provide   09:17:04

         15        social services in low income and rural communities.  09:17:08

         16        Last year 78 percent of our contribution dollars      09:17:08

         17        funded such activities.                               09:17:10

         18             We intend to continue to be a leader in a wide   09:17:12

         19        range of cultural (sic) community reinvestment in     09:17:16

         20        contribution-related issues.                          09:17:18

         21             Now to the business aspects of the merger.  The  09:17:20

         22        new Wells Fargo will have nine of the ten fastest     09:17:24

         23        growing state economies in our markets.  To serve     09:17:28

         24        our customers, the new Wells Fargo will have a        09:17:30

         25        strong delivery system across the new 21-state        09:17:34



     
     



                                                                     15

          1        territory, including traditional branches,            09:17:36

          2        supermarket branches, business centers, ATMs,         09:17:38

          3        24-hour telephone service, Internet banking, and PC   09:17:42

          4        banking.  These choices cover all income segments.    09:17:46

          5             In our major metropolitan areas approximately    09:17:50

          6        half of Wells Fargo's branches are located within a   09:17:54

          7        mile of low income communities.  In fact, to be       09:17:58

          8        where our customers want or need us, we expanded our  09:18:00

          9        network.  In the past two years, we added 506 new     09:18:02

         10        staffed offices, which include 353 supermarket        09:18:06

         11        branches.                                             09:18:10

         12             Just as Wells Fargo historically expanded its    09:18:10

         13        delivery system from the stagecoach to the railroad   09:18:14

         14        lines, we are embracing new banking technology and    09:18:16

         15        new formats for branch offices.  We will continue to  09:18:20

         16        be a leader in community banking.                     09:18:22

         17             So, in a sense, today we are where we started    09:18:24

         18        in 1852 - we are spanning the Western territories     09:18:26

         19        and back to serving Minnesota communities.            09:18:30

         20             Wells Fargo looks forward to merging with a      09:18:34

         21        strong partner, Norwest, and continuing our historic  09:18:36

         22        role as a leader under the Community Reinvestment     09:18:38

         23        Act.  We pledge to become the best financial          09:18:40

         24        institution in this marketplace and in every          09:18:44

         25        community we serve.  Thank you.                       09:18:46



     
     



                                                                     16

          1        

          2                  CHAIRPERSON SMITH:  Thank you.  Mr.         09:18:50

          3        Biller.

          4        

          5                  MR. BILLER:  Thank you, and good morning.   09:18:52

          6        I'm Les Biller, president of Norwest Corporation,     09:18:54

          7        and I'm pleased to represent Norwest at this          09:18:58

          8        important meeting.  Our chairman, Dick Kavosovich,    09:19:00

          9        very much wanted to be here today.  Unfortunately,    09:19:02

         10        he had a commitment in Washington, D.C., that's been  09:19:04

         11        on his calendar for approximately a year, which he    09:19:06

         12        was unable to change.  But with me today is Jim       09:19:08

         13        Campbell, president of our Minnesota bank, and the    09:19:12

         14        person responsible for all of our Minnesota           09:19:14

         15        marketplace.                                          09:19:16

         16             The benefits to this merger for our team         09:19:18

         17        members, our shareholders, and importantly for our    09:19:20

         18        customers and our communities are clear and           09:19:24

         19        compelling.  We would not have entered into this      09:19:26

         20        merger with Wells Fargo if we did not believe it was  09:19:28

         21        in the best interests of all our stakeholders, our    09:19:32

         22        shareholders, our 60,000 team members, our almost     09:19:36

         23        ten million customers, and our communities.           09:19:38

         24             For our customers, it means more convenience,    09:19:40

         25        more products, and more service than ever before.     09:19:42



     
     



                                                                     17

          1        For our team members, it means more opportunities     09:19:44

          2        for growth, both personally and professionally.  For  09:19:46

          3        our communities, it means a continued commitment to   09:19:50

          4        investing in every single one of them with our        09:19:52

          5        dollars, our resources, and our team members, not     09:19:56

          6        because we're a charity, but because it's good        09:19:58

          7        business.  When our communities succeed, we succeed,  09:20:00

          8        and it's impossible to have a healthy bank in a       09:20:04

          9        struggling community.  For our shareholders it means  09:20:06

         10        the prospects of creating an even greater value for   09:20:10

         11        their investment with a combined company.             09:20:12

         12             I'd like to respond point by point to the six    09:20:14

         13        primary concerns that I've heard about this merger.   09:20:18

         14        Those concerns are job losses, branch closings,       09:20:20

         15        fees, the conversion of our computer systems,         09:20:26

         16        community lending and contributions, and the move of  09:20:28

         17        corporate headquarters to San Francisco and its       09:20:30

         18        effect on local decision-making.  Let's take them     09:20:34

         19        one at a time.                                        09:20:38

         20             First, job losses.  Some are concerned this      09:20:38

         21        merger will result in significant job losses for the  09:20:40

         22        Twins Cities and Minnesota.  There will not be        09:20:42

         23        significant job losses.  I can pledge here, as I've   09:20:46

         24        pledged to our own team members on several            09:20:48

         25        occasions, the merger's effect on job losses here in  09:20:52



     
     



                                                                     18

          1        the Twin Cities, and indeed across all of Norwest,    09:20:54

          2        will not be significant.  The largest group of        09:20:58

          3        Norwest people directly affected by this merger is    09:21:00

          4        our headquarters staff here in Minneapolis.  These    09:21:04

          5        830 team members are approximately 1.4 percent of     09:21:08

          6        our total work force of 60,000.  Yes, a number of     09:21:10

          7        these 830 jobs will go away, but that does not mean   09:21:14

          8        that all of the people go away.  We take seriously    09:21:18

          9        the loss of even one job.  However, we've already     09:21:22

         10        proven in the recent consolidation of our banking     09:21:24

         11        operation centers that we can eliminate jobs and      09:21:28

         12        become more efficient, but there's still a way to     09:21:30

         13        keep most of the people.  We call it retain and       09:21:34

         14        retrain.                                              09:21:36

         15             We're being faithful to our retain and retrain   09:21:36

         16        process in this transition.  Our goal is to offer as  09:21:40

         17        many opportunities as we can to our effective team    09:21:44

         18        members for comparable positions in the new company.  09:21:46

         19        Now thanks to technology, we'll keep some corporate   09:21:50

         20        functions right here in Minneapolis by using virtual  09:21:54

         21        offices.  We're going to take our time.  Our retain   09:21:56

         22        and retrain process allows us to overstaff            09:22:00

         23        temporarily in some areas so we can keep good         09:22:02

         24        people.  We're going to do it right.                  09:22:04

         25             Second, some have expressed concern that the     09:22:08



     
     



                                                                     19

          1        merger will result in a disproportionate share of     09:22:10

          2        closing of banking stores in the low to moderate      09:22:14

          3        income neighborhoods.  That is not true.  We expect   09:22:16

          4        this merger will not result in any loss of services   09:22:20

          5        in any of our markets.  The only exception is a few   09:22:22

          6        communities in Arizona and Nevada where our banking   09:22:26

          7        stores overlap with Wells Fargo, and in those         09:22:28

          8        communities, government regulators will require us    09:22:32

          9        to sell certain assets to be consistent with federal  09:22:34

         10        anti-trust rules.  Even in those two states,          09:22:38

         11        however, we'll continue to serve the vast majority    09:22:40

         12        of those overlapping markets either through our       09:22:42

         13        stores or through Wells Fargo's stores.               09:22:46

         14             Third is fees.  We're in a competitive           09:22:50

         15        business.  Our fees are and will remain competitive   09:22:52

         16        in every market in which we do business.  If our      09:22:54

         17        customers don't believe they're getting value for     09:22:58

         18        our fees, they'll take their business elsewhere.      09:23:00

         19        They do have plenty of choices.  And if our fees      09:23:02

         20        aren't competitive, we'll lose customers.  Our goal   09:23:06

         21        is to grow and prosper with our communities.  We      09:23:08

         22        know that to do this, our fees must be competitive.   09:23:12

         23             Fourth, the conversion of our computer systems.  09:23:16

         24        Now here we're taking the time to do it right.        09:23:18

         25        We're beginning every discussion during this          09:23:20



     
     



                                                                     20

          1        transition by asking, what's in the best interest of  09:23:22

          2        the customer?  We're committed to the goal of         09:23:24

          3        flawless execution, and if we do have some problems,  09:23:28

          4        we'll fix them.  Courteous service people will be     09:23:32

          5        available to help customers through this transition.  09:23:34

          6             Also, both companies are on schedule to meet     09:23:38

          7        their year 2000 plan, and the merger will not change  09:23:40

          8        this course.  We will not combine any systems until   09:23:44

          9        we believe we're year 2000 compliant.                 09:23:46

         10             Fifth, community lending and contributions.      09:23:50

         11        Norwest has been and will continue to be, as part of  09:23:52

         12        the combined company, a leader in community lending   09:23:56

         13        in each of the markets in which we serve.  We're      09:24:00

         14        proud of our performance.  Two years ago Norwest      09:24:02

         15        Banks, holding more than three quarters of our        09:24:04

         16        banking assets, were rated outstanding for their      09:24:08

         17        performance under the Community Reinvestment Act by   09:24:10

         18        the office of the controller of the currency, and     09:24:12

         19        the remaining office has received satisfactory        09:24:16

         20        ratings.  Last year we loaned and invested almost     09:24:18

         21        $12 billion in qualified community development loans  09:24:22

         22        and investments to low and moderate income families,  09:24:26

         23        to small businesses or small farms.  Our banks in     09:24:28

         24        North and South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, the Twin      09:24:32

         25        Cities, greater Minnesota and Nebraska, are the       09:24:36



     
     



                                                                     21

          1        number one S.B.A. lenders in their states.  Our       09:24:38

          2        Arizona bank, for example, is number one among all    09:24:40

          3        banks in that state in the percent of loans made to   09:24:44

          4        small businesses with gross annual revenues of less   09:24:46

          5        than one million dollars.  We're the number one ag    09:24:50

          6        lender in the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, and the   09:24:52

          7        Southwest, and number three nationally, and will      09:24:56

          8        become the number one nationally when we do combine   09:24:58

          9        with Wells Fargo.  Thirteen and a half percent of     09:25:02

         10        Norwest's assets are invested in qualified community  09:25:06

         11        development loans and investments.  There are few     09:25:10

         12        other large financial services companies that can     09:25:12

         13        even come close to that performance.                  09:25:14

         14             Now, our goal is to continue to be a national    09:25:16

         15        leader in community lending and development.  We      09:25:20

         16        want to make sure these loans and investments for     09:25:22

         17        where they'll deliver the greatest value that is in   09:25:26

         18        the individual local communities.  One by one, we've  09:25:30

         19        been asked by some to make large, nationwide          09:25:32

         20        commitments.  Our total lending and investment in     09:25:34

         21        any state where we have banks already is large, but   09:25:38

         22        it is also local.  Our practice has been to set       09:25:40

         23        local goals rather than corporate-wide goals because  09:25:44

         24        we believe the best community investment decisions    09:25:46

         25        are made in local communities by community bankers    09:25:50



     
     



                                                                     22

          1        working with local community groups.  We believe our  09:25:52

          2        philosophy of local community decision-making has     09:25:56

          3        served our communities and our customers very well.   09:26:00

          4        For example, over the past seven years our community  09:26:04

          5        home ownership program has provided more than $670    09:26:06

          6        million in mortgage loans to nearly 13,000 low to     09:26:10

          7        moderate income home buyers in 15 states.  Each of    09:26:14

          8        these programs is designed and managed locally.  Due  09:26:18

          9        to the Norwest Housing Foundation, Norwest Mortgage   09:26:22

         10        has pledged $16 1/2 million over the next five 

         11        years, one of the largest donations ever, to Habitat 

         12        for Humanity. 

         13             We've also reached out to underserved            09:26:34

         14        communities.  One example is the Navajo nation.       09:26:36

         15        Between 1994 and 1996, we invested $4 million to      09:26:40

         16        build four new banking stores in the Navajo nation,   09:26:42

         17        each designed by a Navajo architect.  Over 90         09:26:46

         18        percent of the staff of these banks are Navajo; so    09:26:50

         19        are the consumer managers of all of these stores.     09:26:54

         20        Our consumer loans on the Navajo nation tripled in    09:26:56

         21        four years to almost $6 million.  We created a $22    09:27:00

         22        million partnership with Norwest Mortgage and the     09:27:02

         23        federal government to build almost 300 homes in the   09:27:04

         24        Navajo nation.  We also created a program to loan up  09:27:08

         25        to $25 hundred each to Navajos with little or no      09:27:10



     
     



                                                                     23

          1        credit history who take courses in personal money     09:27:14

          2        management.                                           09:27:18

          3             Another example is right here in the Midwest.    09:27:18

          4        Norwest Mortgage has launched a program in South      09:27:20

          5        Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska, to reduce loan    09:27:22

          6        approval time for American Indians living on          09:27:24

          7        allotted trust land.                                  09:27:28

          8             Six is local decision-making, the role of our    09:27:30

          9        corporate headquarters.  The decision to move our     09:27:34

         10        corporate headquarters was the most difficult         09:27:36

         11        decision we had to make.  This decision was driven    09:27:38

         12        by the need to locate our headquarters closest to     09:27:40

         13        the highest concentration of banking deposits, which  09:27:42

         14        is in California, by a factor of almost four times    09:27:46

         15        that of Minnesota.  But I can assure you, the         09:27:48

         16        decision to move our corporate headquarters will      09:27:52

         17        have absolutely no effect on our commitment to local  09:27:54

         18        decision-making in each of our communities.  Our      09:27:58

         19        business philosophy in the combined company will      09:28:00

         20        continue to be based on this principle.  Local        09:28:02

         21        decision-making is the key to serving our             09:28:06

         22        communities effectively because we believe the best   09:28:08

         23        decisions are local decisions.  Decisions at the      09:28:10

         24        local level at Norwest are made by people we trust,   09:28:12

         25        people who know our communities better than anyone    09:28:16



     
     



                                                                     24

          1        else, the people who live and work in their           09:28:18

          2        communities and who have firsthand knowledge of what  09:28:20

          3        really matters there.  And to a centralized company   09:28:22

          4        such as Norwest, what matters is not where our        09:28:28

          5        corporate headquarters is but how we serve our        09:28:30

          6        customers locally one at a time when they walk into   09:28:32

          7        any one of our 4,000 stores, half of which, by the    09:28:36

          8        way, are located in smaller communities, many with    09:28:38

          9        less than 50,000 people in them.                      09:28:40

         10             Let me give you an example.  We bought United    09:28:44

         11        Banks of Colorado in 1991.  It was the state's        09:28:46

         12        largest bank.  We closed its corporate headquarters,  09:28:50

         13        but as we do in all of our banking states, we kept    09:28:50

         14        local decision-making in each of our Colorado         09:28:54

         15        markets.  Today we're the number one bank in          09:28:56

         16        Colorado, an outstanding corporate citizen, a leader  09:28:58

         17        in the community, and the generous supporter of       09:29:00

         18        hundreds of nonprofit organizations in that state.    09:29:04

         19        The president of Colorado Bank, John Nelson, is       09:29:06

         20        chairman of the board of the Denver United Way, and   09:29:08

         21        his bank has been named Colorado's best by the        09:29:12

         22        Colorado Business Journal.  It is only one of five    09:29:14

         23        businesses in the nation recognized by the U.S.       09:29:18

         24        Labor Department for hiring, training and promoting   09:29:20

         25        women and people of color.  Here in Minnesota, Jim    09:29:24



     
     



                                                                     25

          1        Campbell, who's been with Norwest 34 years, who has   09:29:26

          2        run our Twin Cities market for over a decade, is      09:29:28

          3        staying here.  He and his team will continue to call  09:29:32

          4        the shots here.  Jim is the chairman of the United    09:29:34

          5        Way Campaign for the Minneapolis area this year.      09:29:38

          6        These are just two examples of what we see across     09:29:40

          7        Norwest.                                              09:29:42

          8             I want to thank you for the opportunity to       09:29:44

          9        speak on behalf of Norwest this morning.  I also      09:29:46

         10        want to thank all of the concerned citizens on both   09:29:48

         11        sides of this proposed merger who took the time to    09:29:52

         12        attend this meeting today.  Thank you.                09:29:54

         13                  

         14                  CHAIRPERSON SMITH:  Questions from the      09:29:58

         15        panel?  

         16        

         17                  MS. AWAI:  Thank you.  As you know the      09:29:58

         18        Board is required to consider the effects of the      09:30:00

         19        proposal on the convenience and needs of the          09:30:02

         20        communities to be affected.  This consideration will  09:30:04

         21        take into effect both Wells' and Norwest's record of  09:30:08

         22        performance on the Community Reinvestment Act.        09:30:12

         23        You've alluded to a best practices approach in        09:30:14

         24        determining which types of program will be retained.  09:30:20

         25        At this point are you able to identify any of these   09:30:22



     
     



                                                                     26

          1        programs?                                             09:30:24

          2             The other question that I had has been raised    09:30:26

          3        by many of the written commentors, which we have had  09:30:28

          4        an opportunity to review.  Those commentors are       09:30:32

          5        concerned that the proposed merger may result in a    09:30:34

          6        decrease in services in rural communities.  Could     09:30:38

          7        you address both of those?                            09:30:42

          8        

          9                  MR. HAZEN:  I'll start off with the first   09:30:46

         10        one.  In terms of best practices, we obviously have   09:30:46

         11        exchanged information and looked at the things that   09:30:50

         12        both of our companies have done in terms of programs  09:30:52

         13        that we can reach, and I, in my comments, spoke       09:30:58

         14        specifically, for example, in the fact that in small  09:31:02

         15        farming communities, Norwest has done a lot more      09:31:04

         16        than Wells Fargo, whereas still Wells Fargo does      09:31:08

         17        serve a lot of farming communities throughout its     09:31:12

         18        geographic territories.  So we will adopt a lot of    09:31:16

         19        things that Norwest has been able to do there.        09:31:18

         20             I think our small business programs for          09:31:22

         21        specific groups which I mentioned, for example women  09:31:26

         22        and Latinos and African-Americans, is something that  09:31:30

         23        Norwest has been less focused, and we can continue    09:31:36

         24        to combine that.  Those would be examples of best     09:31:40

         25        practices across both companies where we can share    09:31:42



     
     



                                                                     27

          1        it in the combined company.                           09:31:48

          2        

          3                  MR. BILLER:  Regarding the question about   09:31:50

          4        rural communities, we don't see any reduction in      09:31:50

          5        services in rural communities.  It's been kind of a   09:31:54

          6        hallmark of Norwest to be operating in smaller        09:31:58

          7        communities.  We think we know how to do that well    09:32:00

          8        and profitably, and we would expect to continue to    09:32:02

          9        do that.                                              09:32:04

         10        

         11                  CHAIRPERSON SMITH:  Any other questions?    09:32:08

         12        If not, thank you very much for being here this       09:32:10

         13        morning.                                              09:32:12

         14             And we'll move on to Panel No. 1.  We're going   09:32:12

         15        to start with Mr. Jacobson.                           09:33:20

         16        

        

                                                            
	
Last update: December 3, 2010