Wells Fargo Triples Its Remittance Payout Locations In The Philippines

Banco De Oro and M Lhuillier join Wells Fargo’s remittance network

SAN FRANCISCO - September 28, 2010

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has added Banco De Oro Unibank, Inc. (BDO) and M. Lhuillier to the Wells Fargo ExpressSend remittance network in the Philippines, tripling Wells Fargo’s payout locations in the Philippines for a total of over 2,800 branches and 2,900 ATMs.

“We understand how important remittances are to the Philippines,” said Daniel Ayala, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Global Remittance Services. “By helping our Filipino customers reach more locations throughout the country, we hope we can help them stimulate the economy of their homeland by supporting their family and friends.”

BDO has over 700 branches, nearly 1,400 ATMS and was named the #1 commercial bank for Overseas Filipinos Remittances for 2008 and 2009 based on volumes. In addition to BDO’s retail branch network, the bank has several rural bank partners and is part of the growing network of SM, the largest chain of shopping malls in the Philippines. The SM network includes SM Department Stores, SM Business Services, Global Pinoy Centers and Savemore Supermarkets, all having YES Currency Exchange Counters (formerly SM Forex) where customers may claim their remittances. BDO's collaboration with SM allows remittance beneficiaries to access remittance services during extended hours, on weekends and holidays. All in all, BDO has nearly 2,700 remittance pick up locations around the Philippines.

M. Lhuillier has 1200 locations and is Wells Fargo’s first retailer remittance network member in the Philippines, providing beneficiaries with extended hours to collect their funds during the week and weekends with over 150 locations open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in key locations. M. Lhuillier offers a number of remote locations that provide beneficiaries an important opportunity to receive their remittances in areas where they might previously not have been as easily accessible.

"The new working relationship between Wells Fargo Bank and M. Lhuillier Financial Services is a collaboration of two remittance industry leaders, and together we are offering a service that will provide a secure, convenient and competitively priced remittance services,” Michael Lhuillier, Vice President of M.Lhuillier Financial Services Inc. “This working relationship will help millions of Filipino's living and working in the USA better facilitate their money transfers to their beneficiaries in the Philippines. We look forward to the successful launch of this convenient and secure money transfer service in the coming days."

"The BDO and Wells Fargo alliance is a reiteration of both Banks' commitment in delivering a unique and unparalleled banking experience to its customers. Both institutions have a firm grasp of the Overseas Filipinos' need for a safe and convenient mode of providing for their families," Jonathan Diokno, Senior Vice President and Head of BDO Remittance – International Operations. "BDO has gone beyond traditional banking by operating on extended banking hours, holidays and weekends. More than just a remittance channel, BDO opens a door of opportunities for Filipinos overseas to help them achieve their dreams of a better life. This is made possible through a wide array of other bank products and services that we offer."

Wells Fargo ExpressSend customers can send up to $3,000 a day to their beneficiary at BDO, or up to $1,000 a day to their beneficiary at M. Lhuillier for $5 if originated from an eligible Wells Fargo account (or $7 if originated from cash). Customers may also qualify for a discounted fee based on their account relationship with Wells Fargo. Remittances to the Philippines are denominated in Philippine Pesos. Customers can send money by signing on to Wells Fargo Online®, by calling 1-800 –TO-WELLS or by visiting a Wells Fargo store location, making Wells Fargo the only U.S. commercial bank to offer all three channels for remitting funds.

“Wells Fargo is expanding its disbursement capability in a very important corridor. The Philippines is the fourth largest country by inbound remittances in the world, with US$17.3 billion in remittances received last year,” said Gwenn Bézard, Aite Group research director. “Wells Fargo’s continued commitment and success in money transfer is good news for consumers, as it further brings competition and expands consumers’ remittance options.”

Wells Fargo has been active in the international remittance market since 1994 when the company began offering the Philippines ATM remittance account for customers sending money to the Philippines.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 banking stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 278,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked #19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

BDO, awarded by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as the TOP Commercial Bank on Overseas Filipinos Remittances in 2008 and 2009, attributes its solid performance to its strong market presence and steady expansion of remittance partners worldwide. The bank’s commitment to serve the OFWs and their families lies in its constant search for ways to make remittances more secure, convenient, and accessible. BDO’s strong international presence has enabled the bank to serve more Filipinos worldwide, with thousands of combined remittance offices, partners and agent locations in Asia, Middle East, North America and Europe. This is complemented by the bank’s strong domestic presence, with over 2,000 remittance pick-up locations in the Philippines. More than just offering reliable remittance services, BDO has been helping OFWs achieve their dreams of a better life by giving them easier access to loans and investment opportunities through the Asenso Kabayan Program.

M. Lhuillier Financial Services Inc. is a financial services company, with over 50 years of experience offering diversified services such as short-term loans, international and domestic money remittances, insurance, bills payment and collections, and a host of other special services designed to improve the lives of its customer base. With a branch network of over a thousand two hundred locations strategically positioned all over the Philippines and with over a hundred fifty operating 24/7, M. Lhuillier is the preferred partner of the Filipino in the country and around the world.