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Wachovia, Everywhere: September 2011   7 comments

Posted at 6:41 pm in business

The weekend of September 17 2011, all of Columbia's Wachovia locations unveiled their new Wells Fargo signs and the transition which had been forgone since the 2008 merger/rescue was complete.

In reading the Wikipedia entry for Wachovia, I learned a number of things including the fact that "Wachovia" is an old German/Moravian term for the area of North Carolina including Winston-Salem and that Wachovia, like many banks, has a complicated history.

The short version is that the entity that became known as Wachovia started in the Winston-Salem area, eventually bought First Atlanta and became a regional power with headquaters in both Atlanta and Winston-Salem.

In 2001 Wachovia merged with First Union, a bank with its own complicated history. Although technically First Union was the entity which survived, the new company took the Wachovia name and went on an acquisitions spree.

One of these acquisitions was the mortgage firm Golden West which proved to be a poison pill, cratering within Wachovia as the housing bubble burst. This put Wachovia in the position of needing more cash just exactly at the time Washington Mutual failed and dried up all investment cash for banks. I'm not entirely sure I understand what happened next, but the government intervened and tied Wachovia up with Citigroup, a pairing that somehow unravelled when Wells Fargo entered the picture and acquired Wachovia instead.

Or in the end, it could simply be that Wachovia had the bad fortune never to be written into a beloved Broadway show...

Written by ted on October 3rd, 2011

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7 Responses to 'Wachovia, Everywhere: September 2011'

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  1. I was impressed by the handling of the logistics for getting all those signs in place at the same time. The people responsible deserve a bonus.

    tonkatoy

    4 Oct 11 at 6:33 am

  2. I noticed something really funny as soon as the signs went up. The brown horse and carriage that appears below the Wells Fargo name on the red signs looks like someone painted over graffiti. Someone seriously dropped the ball with their focus group testing on that color combination.

    Matthew

    4 Oct 11 at 7:42 am

  3. With the Wells Fargo wagon and horse team so small down in the corner, it looks like the dog from the Chuck Wagon commercials should be chasing it.

    Alaska Jill

    4 Oct 11 at 9:13 am

  4. Yeah the red and yellow combination with the *HUGE* wording is too institutional looking. I think about a bondsman everytime I see it.

    MB

    4 Oct 11 at 11:01 am

  5. most Wachovia locations in SC were oroginally owned by South Carolina National (SCN) or the old First National Bank of SC which merged with SCN in 1984. SCN was bought out by Wachovia in the 1990s.

    Tom

    5 Oct 11 at 9:42 am

  6. I agree that the red and yellow color combinations for Wells Fargo are hideous.

    Lee

    5 Oct 11 at 10:31 am

  7. Agreed. I always thought that the signage makes the place look like a fast food joint.

    MrBO

    15 Jul 13 at 8:06 am

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