HELPING HANDS -- Wells Fargo employees raise a wall during a recent Rouge Valley Habitat for Humanity house renovation project in Medford. The local nonprofit group is turning a two-bedroom, one-bath house at 851 Humphrey St. into a four-bedroom, two bath house. The project is expected to be completed in the late summer. Habitat will then sell the home to a low-income family of six. Wells Fargo donated $15,000 to support the work.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Wells Fargo & Company announced today it is launching a pilot to test an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven customer chat experience for Facebook Messenger.
Wells Fargo's bot for Messenger is a pilot test and is part of the company's innovation agenda, which focuses on incorporating financial services into third-party environments to meet customers where they are and into the moments they want to use them.
Initially, Wells Fargo has opened the pilot to several hundred of its employees. Later this spring, Wells Fargo plans to invite a few thousand customers to participate as the company expands the test.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to provide more personalized services for customers, and to bring those services directly to our customers," said Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo's Innovation Group, where the company's Artificial Intelligence Enterprise Solutions team is based.
"Our goal is to deliver information 'in the moment' to help customers make better informed financial decisions," Ellis said. "AI technology allows us to take an experience that would have required our customers to navigate through several pages on our website, and turn it into a simple conversation in a chat environment. That's a huge time-saving convenience for busy customers who are already frequent users of Messenger."
Wells Fargo has been providing assistance to its customers in Facebook platforms since 2009.
In May 2016, the bank adopted Messenger as its main channel for addressing customers' common questions and service issues. The majority of Wells Fargo's customer engagements are now conducted on Messenger, rather than its public Facebook News Feed. The company estimates that millions of Wells Fargo customers regularly use Messenger to communicate with friends and family.
Regardless of how a customer chooses to do business with Wells Fargo, innovation and technology will help the company deliver an outstanding customer experience, build trust and give more information to customers to help them make decisions about their finances. As outlined in February, artificial intelligence will be an area of focus for the bank's Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation Group, as it sees an increasing number of opportunities to better leverage data to provide personalized customer service through its bankers and digital channels.
About Wells Fargo
Serving the Pacific Northwest since 1852, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations; 13,000 ATMs; the internet (wellsfargo.com); and mobile banking. The firm has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) reported net income of $5.5 billion, or $1.00 per diluted common share, for first quarter 2017, compared with $5.5 billion, or $0.99 per share, for first quarter 2016, and $5.3 billion, or $0.96 per share, for fourth quarter 2016.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan said, "Wells Fargo continued to make meaningful progress in the first quarter in rebuilding trust with customers and other important stakeholders, while producing solid financial results. We have taken significant actions throughout the company to date and we are committed to building a better bank as we move Wells Fargo forward. Earlier this week, the independent directors of Wells Fargo's Board of Directors issued a report on their investigation into the company's retail banking sales practices. The findings are valuable to us and beneficial in helping to identify areas for further improvement. While we have more work to do, I am pleased with all we have accomplished thus far. Our 273,000 team members have remained committed to helping our customers succeed financially, as reflected in improved retail customer service scores, record levels of deposits, more primary consumer checking customers, record client assets in Wealth and Investment Management, and industry-leading mortgage originations."
Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry said, "Our diversified business model generated higher revenue and net income compared with last quarter, as well as higher ROA and ROE. Expenses were elevated compared with last quarter, driven by typically-higher first quarter personnel-related expenses. Credit results improved, with lower net charge-offs and nonaccrual loans, and we benefited from lower income tax expense. The balance sheet remained strong with high levels of capital and liquidity, and record deposits. We ended first quarter with Common Equity Tier 1 (fully phased-in) of $148.7 billion, or a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio (fully phased-in) of 11.2 percent, and returned $3.1 billion to shareholders during the quarter, for a net payout ratio of 61 percent."
The full earnings news release is posted at wellsfargo.com.
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wells Fargo provided $153.8 million to finance the creation of 2,090 affordable housing apartments and spaces in mobile home communities in Oregon in 2016.
The 16 projects funded by Wells Fargo were in Albany, Grants Pass, Gresham, Junction City, Klamath Falls, Milwaukie, Phoenix, Portland, Redmond, Salem, Sublimity and Warrenton. Developers used the funds to either create new affordable housing or rehabilitate and preserve existing units.
"Financing the construction of high quality, safe and clean affordable housing is one of the many ways Wells Fargo supports our communities," said Senior Vice President Nelda Newton of Portland, manager of Wells Fargo's Community Lending & Investment team for Oregon, Washington and four other western states.
"We continue to seek new opportunities to help Oregon address the growing need for more affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents," she said.
Wells Fargo opened an affordable housing financing office in Portland in 1995 and has since become one of the leading lenders in Oregon for this type of housing.
$9 Billion Nationwide Over Five Years
At the national level, Wells Fargo invested more than $9 billion in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which contributed to the construction of more than 180,000 affordable housing units over the last five years. According to a study conducted by accounting firm Cohn Reznick, no other bank provided more such financing in the United States during that same time period.
A report released March 23 by the Mortgage Bankers Association also named Wells Fargo the leading source of affordable housing in the United States for 2016.
"Demand for affordable rental housing continues to be extremely high and has reached the crisis level in many parts of the nation. Too many people are spending a disproportionate percentage of their income on rent," said Executive Vice President John Epstein of Portland, Wells Fargo's National Affordable Housing Debt manager.
"As one of the largest affordable housing lenders in the country, being able to help meet the need for more affordable living options for our customers and communities is a top priority for Wells Fargo," he said.
In addition to its affordable housing financing efforts, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the No. 1 originator of home loans to residents of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
About Wells Fargo
Serving Oregonians since 1852, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. The firm provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations; 13,000 ATMs; the internet (wellsfargo.com); and mobile banking. Wells Fargo has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.
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