S&P Upgrades Wells Fargo Bank to “AA+,” Making It Highest Credit-Rated Bank in U.S.
San Francisco — August 2, 2006
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services yesterday upgraded Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. to AA+, making Wells Fargo S&P’s highest credit-rated bank in the U.S. In 2003, Moody’s Investors Service rated Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. the United States’ only “Aaa” bank, its highest credit-rating. S&P also raised the long-term credit ratings of Wells Fargo & Company’s (NYSE: WFC) senior debt to AA, making it the highest S&P credit-rated bank holding company in the U.S. S&P cited Wells Fargo for the consistency of its core profitability, leading market positions in several businesses, strong capital measures, conservative risk management, its stable net interest margin, and a balanced business model that has generated consistently strong operating results. “The announcement by Standard & Poor’s – in addition to being the only U.S. bank with a “Aaa” credit-rating from Moody’s Investors Service – is further proof of the long-term value of our time-tested vision, business model, conservative risk management and the ability of our talented team to satisfy all of our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially,” said Chairman and CEO Dick Kovacevich. S&P cited Wells Fargo’s strong retail banking franchise as well-positioned and well-managed to face the competitive marketplace without sacrificing price or credit standards. “Our first financial objective is to maintain a conservative financial position measured by asset quality, accounting policies, capital levels, diversity of revenue sources and dispersing risk by geography, loan size and industry,” said Howard Atkins, Wells Fargo & Company’s Chief Financial Officer. “We want our banks to have such strong balance sheets that our customers would put their money in them even if there was no FDIC insurance.” Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $500 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S. to be rated “Aaa” by Moody’s Investors Service, its highest possible credit rating, and “AA+” by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.