Wells Fargo and its iconic stagecoach are pulling into town for good, just as another old hand of the Charleston banking industry fades into the sunset.
The financial giant's name and colors will be unveiled at Wachovia's 148 branches and 261 automated teller machines throughout South Carolina after the close of business today, capping a lengthy transition that began near the height of the 2008 global financial crisis.
The roughly 50 Wachovia walk-in offices in the state that offer weekend hours will become Wells Fargo "stores" on Saturday morning, said Rick Redden, president of the lender's South Carolina operations. The rest will open under the new name Monday.
"We're a thousand days-plus into this and were excited to be here," Redden said Thursday. "This is a big weekend for us."
The changeover is notable because of the large number of consumers and businesses Wachovia counts as clients. The company is considered the largest financial institution in South Carolina based on its $11.6 billion share of deposits, including more than $2.4 million in the Charleston region.
It also is a sizable employer, with 6,025 workers around the Palmetto State, where it has been a marquee player in the banking business for most of the past 20 years.
The weekend changeover will not directly affect most customers, who can continue using their Wachovia-issued debit cards, credit cards and checks, officials said. One exception: Information for online accounts will have to be updated as of Saturday.
Read more later at postandcourier.com and in tomorrow's newspaper.
Warren Wise contributed to this report. Reach John McDermott at 937-5572.