| FOR IMMEDIATE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2000
TDD: (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES WELLS FARGO & COMPANY AND FIRST
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today announced that Wells Fargo & Company and First Security Corporation have agreed to sell 37 branch offices with approximately $1.4 billion in deposits in New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho in order to resolve antitrust concerns about the companies' pending merger. The Attorneys General of the four states assisted the Antitrust Division in its investigation.
Under the agreement, the companies have agreed to divest 21 branches in New Mexico with $740 million in deposits, nine branches in Nevada with $499 million in deposits, two branches in Utah with $65 million in deposits, and five branches in Idaho with $119 million in deposits. The divestitures will include the commercial and consumer loans, including small business and certain middle market loans associated with the divested branches. In addition, the divested branches will have the opportunity to hire certain employees, including small business and middle market loan officers. Wells Fargo also has agreed that it will not take steps to preclude other financial institutions from leasing or purchasing any bank branches that it may close due to consolidation resulting from this merger.
"These divestitures ensure that consumers, including small and medium-sized businesses, will continue to have choices for banking services, and continue to enjoy the benefits of competition," said Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "As a result, consumers in all four of these states will continue to receive competitive loan rates and other banking services."
The proposed merger is subject to the final approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The Department said that it will advise the Federal Reserve Board that, subject to divestiture of the branch offices and associated loans and deposits, the Antitrust Division will not challenge the merger.
Wells Fargo & Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California and is the seventh-largest bank holding company in the United States. It has $234 billion in assets and $146.1 billion in deposits and operates branches in 23 states.
First Security Corporation is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has $22.5 billion in assets and $13.2 billion in deposits and has branches located in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Wyoming.
A list of the branches to be divested is attached.