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TheStreet Open House

Steve Ellis, Wells Fargo Wholesale Services (Photo: Business Wire)

Wells Fargo & Company ( NYSE:WFC) said today that its Commercial Electronic Office ® ( CEO ®) portal – the first comprehensive internet portal for commercial banking customers when it launched in 2000 – has become the first online channel of its kind to serve customers for a decade.

June 24 marks the 10 th anniversary of the CEO portal, which provides instant online access for more than 330,000 users to dozens of financial services, including cash management, credit, foreign exchange, trade services, health benefit services, and trust and investment services. The portal’s offerings and customer base will grow significantly in 2010 as thousands of new customers from the former Wachovia Corp., which merged with Wells Fargo in 2008, join the online channel.

“Because we’ve focused on the customer experience for 10 years and not the product experience, we’ve designed and built and rebuilt a portal that delivers a premium customer experience,” said Steve Ellis, the head of Wells Fargo Wholesale Services who started a group in 1999 to develop the CEO portal. “Our portal is simple, easy, and fast. It delivers information that helps customers make smarter business decisions. But it’s our customers who helped to make the portal better. We listen to what they need and respond with innovative products and services.”

During the CEO portal’s first year, about 2,200 customers enrolled to use its initial three services: foreign exchange, credit management, and WellsNet (a suite of applications that included wires). Today, 50,000 companies access the portal’s 60-plus products and services – including popular applications such as commercial card expense reporting, treasury information reporting, and wires. More than 70 percent of Wells Fargo’s commercial and corporate customers are enrolled in the portal today, averaging 2 million logins per month.

To drive CEO portal innovation and enhancements, Wells Fargo casts a wide net for customer feedback, including research, forums, focus groups, online surveys, and blogs. For example, customers attended 100 advisory council sessions during 2009 in person and submitted 1,300 suggestions. Wells Fargo implemented more than one-third of their ideas. Each quarter since its launch, the CEO portal has released new products, features, and enhancements including Desktop Deposit ® service in March 2005, CEO Mobile ® service in March 2007 , and CEO Workstation ® service in October 2007 .

“Ten years ago, before the CEO portal was available, banking systems were quite fragmented," said Bryan Wilson, vice president of corporate treasury at Wind River Systems, Inc., a leader in embedded and mobile software. "With Wells Fargo's CEO portal, we now have everything at our fingertips anywhere we have internet access."

By focusing on its customers and finding innovative ways to help them achieve their financial goals, Wells Fargo has built customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. In the 2009 Phoenix-Hecht Treasury Management Monitor survey of cash management customers, Wells Fargo earned A+ ratings in categories including being innovative and up-to-date; ease of use of Internet-delivered services; and Internet services, features and capabilities.

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