Spotlight on New Members: Wells Fargo Bank

Shelly Ford

By Shelly Ford
Alchemist Editor and Digital Content Manager, LBMA

Wells Fargo Bank has joined LBMA as a Full Member

What were the reasons for you wanting to join LBMA and what do you see as the key benefits of membership?

Joining LBMA is a way for us to reinforce the importance of precious metals to our core franchise. The industry’s past, present, and future is still extremely relevant in today’s uncertain world - we plan to evolve with it.

The LBMA is the key link between all parts of the global precious community and will allow us to grow our product offering in responsive alignment with topics that matter to our consumers and investors alike: transparency, liquidity, ethics and sustainability.

We also hope to create an open dialogue with LBMA and its Members, as well as act as an intermediary for market participants to speak to their own challenges and interests in the market and where they see its growth.

Tell us about your company’s role in the precious metals market?

We provide liquidity and risk management alternatives in the physical and derivative hedging space. As one of the main commodity bank providers of structured physical solutions, our goal is to grow in the US and strategic locations abroad.

Wells Fargo is very consumer driven, and we have grown rapidly in the corporate space over the last three years. We hope to continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients.

What’s the background and history of the company?

On March 18, 1852, our founders - Henry Wells and William G. Fargo - built an innovative start-up to help customers build businesses and manage money in a rapidly changing world. Our roots can be traced back to the California Gold Rush of 1848 which created the demand necessary for a transcontinental shipping and banking network.

Our founders jumped at the opportunity to service the transportation of parcels, money, gold and checks in a large part of the US that had never been serviced before. The institution grew through multiple strategic acquisitions into what it is today, a top five bank with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, servicing more than 68 million customers globally across four main divisions: Consumer Banking & Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management.

Although we’ve grown monumentally since our Gold Rush origins, joining LBMA allows us to get back to our roots and demonstrates our commitment to the precious metal industry.

Wells Fargo Bank, Chicago office.

What factors do you expect to impact your business in the short to long term?

The macro picture is currently highly volatile, with fractious politics in major economies, multiple conflicts and wars, large amounts of debt, depressed manufacturing numbers, and new trends driving markets, such as AI and cryptocurrencies.

The world is in a transition period, with investors and consumers questioning the real meaning of value and where to find it. We think customers will look to gold as an alternative asset during this period of uncertainty, and some of the historical flows we have grown accustomed to will find new routes to end users. We are here for the change.

What are your future plans for the business?

We will continue to keep Corporates front and center as the demand for risk management and working capital solutions will increase in this higher price environment.

In the short term, we will also work closely with our FX Institutional Sales team to introduce their clients to our capabilities. This team has grown significantly in the
last two years, and there’s been increased investor interest about our capabilities. Their needs will organically impact on our business and offerings.

Our third priority will be to create additional strategic partnerships with counterparts and organisations that share the same core values to create a sustainable, trustworthy, and deep global market in the precious metals industry.

WF Museum, San Francisco.

Shelly Ford

By Shelly Ford
Alchemist Editor and Digital Content Manager, LBMA

Shelly supports the Head of Communications to create and develop content across digital channels that engages the LBMA’s key stakeholders and supports the organisation’s vision and objectives. She brings a wealth of content creation, strategy, and campaign experience from previous roles in the professional and financial service industries, as well as Lloyd’s of London insurance market and publishing houses.