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Wells Fargo schedules Colorado account conversions.

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 22, 1996--

First Interstate Bank customers will soon have Wells Fargo

accounts and services

You may not hear the proverbial hoofbeats, but the Wells Fargo stagecoach is on its way, bringing a wealth of new banking services to Colorado.

Wells Fargo Bank has scheduled the conversion of First Interstate Bank customers, operations and retail facilities in Colorado over the Nov. 23-24 weekend. Nearly 50,000 accounts will switch to Wells Fargo systems and products, and three branches will begin featuring Wells Fargo automated teller machines, brochures and signs.

The conversion comes just seven months after the two companies joined forces in the largest bank merger in U.S. history.

"Following the conversion, former First Interstate customers will have the broad range of products and services offered by Wells Fargo," said Roy Whitehead, president of Wells Fargo (Colorado) N.A., and senior vice president of commercial banking. "Wells Fargo also brings to Colorado the convenience of conducting your financial affairs any time, anywhere with expanded ATM, telephone and personal computer banking services."

Customer Convenience The Priority

Wells Fargo is working to ensure the conversion is hassle-free for its customers. Customers can continue using their First Interstate Bank checks, and deposit and withdrawal slips until they run out. When they re-order, customers will receive Wells Fargo checks with their new account number.

Customers who have automatic payments or deposits made from or to their checking accounts each month will not have to inform the companies they deal with. Wells Fargo will do that for them.

Almost all customers have already received their new Wells Fargo credit cards and ATM/debit cards. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) that a customer uses when making transactions with the ATM card will remain the same but the customer will be able to change it if desired.

New ATMs Offer More Services

Wells Fargo will replace the former First Interstate ATMs in Colorado with 26 state-of-the-art machines that offer additional services. Besides providing basic banking services such as deposits and withdrawals, transfers, balance inquiries and loan payments, the new ATMs will allow customers to buy postage stamps, pay bills and print mini statements of their last 10 transactions.

Customers will be able to access up to 33 accounts, including certificates of deposit, Individual Retirement Accounts and mutual fund accounts. Instructions in Braille are included at the machines.

A total of 28,700 new ATM/debit cards in Colorado will also be activated this weekend to replace First Interstate's card.

More Telephone Banking Services

Former First Interstate customers are now able to bank 24 hours a day by telephone. They have the option of speaking with a Wells Fargo agent or using the automated tough-tone phone service.

Wells Fargo's Telephone Banking Centers offer 150 services, allowing customers to conveniently check account balances; review deposits, checks and withdrawals; transfer money between accounts; pay bills; review balances and payments for credit cards, loans and lines of credit; make credit card payments; find the nearest ATM or branch; and get direct touch-tone access to an automated Spanish-language service.

Customers can also talk to a Wells Fargo agent any time to open a new account, apply for a loan or credit card, link accounts to their ATM card, stop payment on a check, reorder checks and more.

New telephone banking services for former First Interstate customers include applying for a credit card, linking accounts to an ATM card, ordering business checks and making deposits to certain certificates of deposit.

Wells Fargo's Telephone Banking Centers can be accessed toll free from more than 155 countries worldwide.

More Online Services

Wells Fargo customers can use personal computers to perform a wide variety of banking functions on the Internet ( or through Prodigy, Quicken, Microsoft Money and America Online.

Wells Fargo was the first bank to offer real on-line banking on the Internet in May 1995. The bank's Internet offerings now include bill payment, transfer of funds between consumer accounts and the purhcase of foreign currency and American Express Travelers Cheques. First Interstate also offered a variety of home computer banking capabilities, including banking on the Internet, but it did not offer Prodigy, America Online, transfer of funds or bill payment on the Internet.

Small Business Banking Services

"Wells Fargo is the nation's leading lender to small businesses. For small businesses in Colorado, this will mean quicker, easier access to credit. Loan officers make most of their own lending decisions," said Mark Leidheisl, an area manager and vice president for the Business Banking Group.

Leidheisl and his team work one-on-one with small businesses to provide lines of credit, equipment loans and leases, and real estate loans. Based in Denver, he can personally approve credit applications of up to $1.5 million.

In addition, small businesses can call a toll-free number 24 hours a day to talk with trained business specialists at the National Business Banking Center.

Wells Fargo also recently announced it has committed to lending at least $10 billion during the next 10 years to women small business owners. This special loan program was created in partnership with the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Commercial Banking Services

Around-the-clock access to commercial banking services through a specialized phone service is just one of the innovations Wells Fargo will bring to Colorado.

"We will also offer our Commercial Banking customers products to facilitate their payroll distribution, purchasing and check reconcilement," said Whitehead.

In addition, Wells Fargo offers a credit sweep account that automatically manages the borrowing, investing, funds transfer and business checking functions of a mid-sized business in one consolidated account.

Expanded Investment Management Services

Wells Fargo also brings to Colorado its investment management and trust leadership. The company, which has $56 billion under management, is the fourth-ranked bank mutual fund manager in the country and the sixth largest bank investment adviser in the industry, according to Rick Home, senior vice president and manager of Colorado's Private Banking Group.

More Than $355,000 Donated in Colorado

Wells Fargo has committed to donate a total of $300 million over the next 10 years to community organizations in its 10-state territory. As of Oct. 31, Wells Fargo had already donated or committed to donate grants totaling $355,731 to nonprofit organizations in Colorado since acquiring First Interstate Bancorp on April 1, 1996.

The majority of those donations were for kindergarten through Grade 12 education, affordable housing, economic development and social services.

More Conversions Planned

Colorado (along with Texas) represents the fourth of five stages in Wells Fargo's conversion of First Interstate Bank. Wells Fargo completed converting First Interstate customers in California in August. Customers in Arizona and Nevada were then converted Oct. 12-13. Oregon, Washington and Idaho converted Nov. 9-11.

Conversions in Utah and New Mexico are scheduled for later this year. (Wells Fargo sold its operations in Montana and Wyoming and has reached agreement to sell its Alaska bank.)

The First To Offer Interstate Banking

"Wells Fargo is the first bank in the nation to offer its customers tangible benefits of interstate banking," Whitehead said. "No longer will customers be tied to one branch, or even one state. They'll be able to bank with Wells Fargo wherever they want, whenever they want."

Additionally, if customers move from one state to another in the bank's western territory, they won't have to open a new bank account. It will be the same Wells Fargo account, wherever they live.

Wells Fargo & Co. is the eighth largest bank holding company in the United States, with $109.2 billion in assets at Sept. 30, 1996.

CONTACT: Wells Fargo Bank

Dan Conway, 619/688-3408
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 22, 1996
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