Two and a half years after it swept in to buy the ailing Wachovia bank in the largest merger in U.S. banking history, Wells Fargo will finally put its name on the sprawling Florida branch network.
Wachovia signs and systems in the Tampa Bay area, central Florida and north Florida will be changed to Wells Fargo in June, the San Francisco-based banking giant said Tuesday. South Florida branches will be rebranded in July.
When finished, Well Fargo will have its imprint on 668 branches — or, in its preferred terminology, banking stores — along with 942 ATMs statewide.
The Florida branches will have an open floor plan used by Wells Fargo elsewhere while reflecting the bank's red and gold motif.
Wachovia was on the brink of collapse before it became part of Wells Fargo on Dec. 31, 2008, in a government-backed deal that turned Wells Fargo into the country's fourth-largest bank. Since then, Wells Fargo leaders have repeatedly said they wanted to take the transition slowly to avoid any miscues.
Wells Fargo is the second-largest bank operating in Florida behind Bank of America, controlling more than 16 percent of deposits, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. Nationally, the financial services company has about $1.3 trillion in assets.
With 280,000 "team members," including 16,000 in Florida, the bank ranks as the 12th largest U.S. employer.