Wells Fargo’s Community Reinvestment Performance Receives Highest Regulatory Rating
Lending Activity, Outreach Recognized by Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
SAN FRANCISCO, November 25, 2009 – Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has received an “Outstanding” rating – the highest rating possible – in its most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which serves more than 20 million retail households in 39 states and the District of Columbia, met and exceeded community needs in areas such as affordable housing, financial education and small business lending.
The OCC’s assessment of Wells Fargo was conducted at the state level as well, with each state receiving an individual rating. In the OCC’s assessment of Wells Fargo in Alaska, the financial services company received an overall “Outstanding” rating.
The examination – Oct. 1, 2004 through Sept. 30, 2008 – covered the 23 community banking states that Wells Fargo had before its merger with Wachovia. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires banks to meet the credit needs of all the communities where they do business, especially low-to-moderate income communities and families.
“As a financial services company, we are responsible for investing in the communities where our team members and customers live and work to help keep them healthy and create future economic growth and prosperity. Not only is it the right thing to do, but also when our communities prosper, so do we,” said Richard Strutz, Wells Fargo regional president for Alaska. “We’re proud to be recognized by the OCC for our commitment to our communities.”
Wells Fargo received an overall “Outstanding” rating, and also was rated “Outstanding” in each of the exam’s three Test categories:
- Lending (mortgages, small business, and community development for affordable housing and economic development);
- Services (retail banking stores, alternative delivery channels, and financial outreach), and;
- Investments (funding capital and grants to community organizations).
In the Lending Test category, which represents half of the rating, the OCC said that Wells Fargo “demonstrated lending levels that reflected excellent responsiveness to the credit needs in the majority of assessment areas…and originated a very large volume of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and CRA reportable loans in relation to the dollar volume of bank’s deposits in its assessment areas. The bank has a thorough understanding of the credit needs of the assessment areas in Alaska and is very responsive to meeting these needs. This performance was evidenced by Wells Fargo’s volume of community development services.” It said Wells Fargo’s distribution of small business loans among businesses of different revenue size was also excellent.
The OCC said Wells Fargo’s strong CRA performance was due in part to the volume and nature of its community development lending which had a significantly positive impact on the Lending Test rating. In Alaska, Wells Fargo provided $275 million in CRA-qualified community development loans and investments for affordable housing, community services and economic development during the exam period.
In the Investment Test category, the OCC said Wells Fargo Bank’s “performance, as measured primarily by volume of investments, was excellent … Wells Fargo has invested millions of dollars in many of its assessment areas in support of community development, especially for affordable housing. Wells Fargo often invests in large national or regional funds that, in turn, make investments, typically in projects that qualify for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, in many of its assessment areas. The qualified investments made by Wells Fargo are useful and effective in meeting the needs of its communities and their residents.” In Alaska, Wells Fargo investments created or rehabilitated 1,842 affordable housing units in Anchorage and 180 dwellings in rural Alaska during the exam period.
In the Service Test category, the OCC said Wells Fargo’s “retail delivery systems, including branches and ATMs, are readily accessible to a majority of the bank’s assessment areas. Wells Fargo’s opening and closing of branches (stores) generally has not adversely affected the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low- and moderate-income geographies and to low- and moderate-income individuals. Wells Fargo is a leader in providing community development services in the majority of its assessment areas.” In Alaska, Wells Fargo’s network of 50 stores, 120 ATMs, access to online banking and innovative Community Agent program in rural Alaska provide readily accessible financial services.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.
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Posted: November 30, 2009