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WELLS FARGO HSBC TRADE BANK IS EX-IM BANK'S SMALL BUSINESS BANK OF THE YEAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200, Susan Stanley at Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank (415) 396-4417

Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, N.A., based in San Francisco, Calif., today received the 2002 Small Business Bank of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank was honored at an awards ceremony at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., May 2-3.

The Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, an equity joint venture between Wells Fargo and the HSBC Group, focuses on the international banking needs of small businesses and utilizes Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantees and export credit insurance products. Over the past year, the Trade Bank has financed more than $60 million in over 30 transactions using Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantees, which have supported nearly $400 million of U.S. exports. More than two-thirds of this financing benefited small businesses.

The Trade Bank is pleased to have been selected by Ex-Im Bank as the Small Business Bank of the Year. Since the inception of the Trade Bank, Ex-Im Bank's guaranteed working capital loans and export credit insurance policies have been a cornerstone of our product offerings. The small business community is a very important part of Wells Fargo's strategy, and to be recognized as a leader in supporting small business exports is a real honor, said Ken Petrilla, Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank senior vice president.

Through the Trade Bank, customers have access to over 6,000 HSBC offices in over 78 countries and territories. In addition, 15 regional offices of the Trade Bank serve the United States. Wells Fargo and Company (NYSE: WFC) is a $312 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance services through 5,400 stores, its Internet site (www.wellsfargo.com) and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank provides loans, guarantees and export credit insurance to support U.S. exports, particularly to developing markets, around the world. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. More than $1.6 billion of this financing supported U.S. small business exports.