SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) said today it has become the first major U.S. bank to offer consumer remittance services to China and Vietnam and has expanded its consumer remittance services to the Philippines, further strengthening its goal of being the leader in offering new financial products and services to better serve the U.S. Asian community. The new offerings are: -- China -- Wells Fargo and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), one of the largest banks in China, are offering an account-to-account remittance program. Customers in the United States can send up to $1,000 a day to China for $8. Recipients can claim their funds at more than 31,000 ABC branches and 12,500 ATMs throughout China. -- Vietnam -- Wells Fargo and Industrial and Commercial Bank of Vietnam (Incombank) also are offering an account-to-account remittance program. Customers in the United States can send up to $3,000 a day to Vietnam for $8. As one of the largest banks in Vietnam, Incombank gives recipients an opportunity to claim their funds at more than 700 branches and 400 ATMs throughout Vietnam. -- Philippines -- In addition to Wells Fargo's Philippines ATM Remittance Account, Wells Fargo and the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) are offering an account-to-account remittance program. Customers in the United States can send the Philippine Peso equivalent of up to $3,000 a day to the Philippines for $5. BPI is the second largest bank in the country. Recipients can claim their funds at more than 700 BPI branches and 1,300 ATMs throughout the Philippines. "Wells Fargo has been committed to serving the financial needs of our diverse customers for more than 150 years, and we were one of the first financial institutions to offer remittance products," said Daniel Ayala, head of Wells Fargo Global Remittance Services. "Our Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino customers have a great need to send money abroad to their friends and family, and we're proud we can offer them safe, affordable, convenient, and reliable options." "Providing services to the Asian community in the United States will be an encouraging effort to expand competition and bring banking financial services to millions of foreign born Chinese, Filipinos and Vietnamese migrants whose regular relationship with families back home depends on family remittances," said Manuel Orozco, Senior Associate Inter-American Dialogue. "China, Vietnam and the Philippines are three of the largest remittance destinations in the world, accounting for 30 percent of the estimated $85 billion in remittance flows that Asian countries will receive by the end of 2006," said Dan Schatt, senior analyst, Celent. "In the U.S., the majority of households that remit money to these three countries are more likely to have and actively use their bank accounts for financial transactions and money movement. The convenience, low cost and reach associated with cross border banking arrangements may very well attract additional informal remittance flows to these country's financial systems, which could represent additional $15 billion in remittance activity." Customers need only provide their information to Wells Fargo once. As long as no changes are made to the beneficiary's information, no additional forms will be necessary when they need to transfer funds again. Wells Fargo provides multiple channels for transferring money, including by phone (800-556-0605 or 1-800-TO-WELLS), store visit, ATM, or online banking. These channels give Wells Fargo the opportunity to offer additional needs-based financial products and services to its customers. Wells Fargo has been active in the remittance market since 1994 when it first began offering the Philippines ATM remittance account (PARA) for customers sending money to the Philippines and in 1995 when the company launched the InterCuenta Express(R) consumer remittance product to Mexico. Wells Fargo now offers remittance products to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China. Wells Fargo has been committed to the Asian community for more than 150 years when the company served Asian merchants as customers, and employed Asians as agents. Today, Wells Fargo has specifically designed products, services, community outreach initiatives and educational programs to address the needs of Asian-Americans and businesses across the United States. Special initiatives include wealth building seminars; financial literacy workshops; in-language materials, language phone lines and ATM screens; special homebuyer workshops and small business programs. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $483 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,100 stores and the internet ( wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service and the highest credit rating given to a U.S. bank, "AA+," from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.
SOURCE Wells Fargo & Company