Make us your home page

Stagecoach set to ride into Florida

Antitrust regulators on Friday approved Wells Fargo's bid to buy Wachovia, moving the Wells Fargo name a step closer to the flagship spot on Florida's banking towers.

So just what's with this Wells Fargo & Co., anyway?

The bank with its roots in the Gold Rush loves to feature the image "of a six-horse stagecoach thundering across the American West, loaded with gold." The stagecoach is still its corporate symbol — 10 originals adorn the bank's history museums, and replicas appear in parades. The bank, founded in 1852, opened its first branches in Sacramento and San Francisco. It's in many ways the West Coast equivalent of Wachovia — including a suffering loan portfolio, which the combined institutions will have to deal with. It was a Northern California regional bank in the 1960s and became statewide in the 1980s, making it the seventh-largest bank in the country. In the '90s it spread through other states. It didn't open retail branches in Florida, though it does have mortgage centers. By this past summer it was fifth among banks in assets. Now it could end up the largest in the nation.

Wachovia's officially No. 1 in Florida, just in time for takeover.

Wachovia Corp. officially took the crown as Florida's largest bank — even as its sale to Wells Fargo marched forward. Wachovia a year ago was viewed as surpassing Bank of America in Florida after it finalized its takeover of Golden West, the parent of World Savings Bank. But there's a long lag time before the annual release of market share data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Recently released FDIC figures estimate Wachovia had $71.1-billion in banking deposits statewide as of June 30, or 18.7 percent of the total, overtaking Bank of America, which had $69.4-billion, or 18.25 percent.

Is it really a done deal?

Wells Fargo plans to complete the deal by the end of the year. Wachovia got approval from the New York Stock Exchange on Friday to skip a shareholder vote, saying a delay could hurt the bank.

Times staff writers Becky Bowers and Jeff Harrington contributed to this report, which used information from the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, and Wells Fargo.

Stagecoach set to ride into Florida 10/10/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 10, 2008 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.