Following a merger with Norwest Corporation in 1998 and an acquisition of Wachovia National Bank in 2008, Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the country. Going by number of branches, though, it is the largest, with 5,486. Its parent financial services company has headquarters in San Francisco, while the bank’s main office is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Wells Fargo holds the oldest continuously operating bank charter in the United States. Acquired through Wachovia, it was originally granted to the First National Bank of Philadelphia. In 2016, the bank gained some notoriety after news came out about a corporate culture where employees felt pressured to create 2 million bank accounts without customers’ permission. After a series of charges involving wrongful home foreclosures and violations of consumer protection laws, CEO Tim Sloan stepped down in 2019. The bank reported a fourth-quarter profit in 2019 of $2.87 billion, down more than 50% from the previous year.
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