Wells Fargo lends more dollars to America’s small businesses than any other lender

2011 Small Business Administration data shows Wells Fargo is #1 SBA lender in dollars for three consecutive years

SAN FRANCISCO - October 20, 2011

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced it is America’s #1 Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in dollar volume for the third consecutive year – approving a record $1.2 billion in SBA 7(a) loans to America’s small businesses for the 2011 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011). The company increased SBA 7(a) financing to small business owners nearly 40 percent from 2010 levels when the company approved over $871 million. An SBA preferred lender in all 50 states, Wells Fargo also is the second largest SBA lender in units extending 3,142 loans in 2011, up 27 percent from 2010.

"In today’s challenging economy, SBA Lending is an important option for small business owners seeking financing to sustain and build their businesses,” said David Rader, head of Wells Fargo SBA Lending Division. “Wells Fargo is proud to be the leading SBA 7(a) dollar lender for 2011. Small businesses create jobs, drive economic growth and are essential to our nation’s recovery. By extending more dollars to more small businesses, we give them the ability to invest today in their businesses and in their communities.”

In Colorado, one business that received an SBA 7(a) loan through Well Fargo this year was Safety One International, Inc., a business-to-business safety and survival training provider, based in Littleton, Colo. The loan was used to purchase a new building, helping the business expand training operations and add new employees.

“While we face the same challenges faced by other small businesses in a slow economy, we’re strengthening our business now for the future,” said Art Seeley, owner of Safety One. “The SBA loan we received through Wells Fargo gave us the opportunity to purchase and build a new training center that was needed for us to offer more classes and build our operations.”

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo announced that it was the first lender to loan more than $1 billion in SBA 7(a) loans to small businesses in a federal fiscal year. Also earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration presented its SBA Large 7(a) Lender of the Year award to Wells Fargo. The award is given based on lender size, portfolio performance, growth in approval volume for the previous fiscal year, and a demonstrated, steadfast commitment to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses across the country.

In addition to being the #1 SBA lender in dollars, Wells Fargo also is America’s#1 small business lender and #1 lender to small businesses in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods for both loans under $100,000 and under $1 million lending categories, according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data for 2010.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 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 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender (2010 Community Reinvestment Act government data) and a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses. With the nation’s largest network of retail banking stores, and an award-winning online Business Insight Series (www.wellsfargobusinessinsights.com) including videos, webcasts and articles, Wells Fargo provides business owners with timely advice and information to educate and help them succeed financially. For more information, or to speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.

Jim Seitz

Sarah Toffoli