| FOR IMMEDIATE
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2000
TDD: (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES WELLS FARGO & COMPANY TO DIVEST THREE BRANCHES IN NEBRASKA
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today announced that Wells Fargo & Company has agreed to sell approximately $213 million in deposits in three branches in Nebraska in order to resolve the Department's antitrust concerns about the company's pending merger with First Commerce Bancshares Inc.
The company will sell two City National Bank and Trust branches in Hastings and one National Bank of Commerce branch in Lincoln. In addition, Wells Fargo agreed that it would not take steps to preclude other financial institutions from leasing or purchasing any bank branches that Wells Fargo may close in Lancaster, Hall and Adams counties, Nebraska, due to consolidation resulting from this merger.
"These divestitures will preserve competition, such as competitive prices, in these Nebraska markets," said Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "The divestitures will ensure that consumers, particularly small businesses, have choices for their banking services."
The proposed merger of Wells Fargo and First Commerce 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 three 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 has 5,800 branches located in 21 states. It has $218 billion in assets and $133 billion in deposits.
First Commerce is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. It has 31 banking offices in Nebraska and one banking office in Colorado. First Commerce has assets of approximately $2.6 billion and deposits totaling about $1.8 billion.
A list of the branches to be divested is attached.