Wells Fargo is the winner in the battle for Wachovia, says the New York Times. Apparently, Citibank became nervous about splitting the bank when they saw the size of the “bad assets” it would have to take on, and quietly walked away. The bank will continue to seek $60 billion in damages, however.
The Times says that if Wells Fargo is successful in a deal with Wachovia, it would elevate what is essentially an overgrown regional bank into a national player.
A deal with Wachovia would elevate Wells Fargo to a prime position in the American banking industry, with the largest nationwide deposit and branch franchise in the country. Together, Wells Fargo and Wachovia will have $1.42 trillion in assets, 48 million customers and 280,000 employees.
The combined bank will be present on both coasts in the fastest-growing markets, playing on the same field as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, two of the nation’s largest banks.