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Wells Fargo Bank Settles California Check-Cashing Suit

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 6, 2005--Wells Fargo Bank has settled a California class action lawsuit about its $5 check cashing fee. The suit was brought April of last year by Chaffee Enterprises on behalf of California employers who claim that the bank's check cashing fee, charged to non-accountholder employees, could place employers in violation of the California Labor Code.

Under the terms of the settlement, Wells Fargo will offer free direct deposit for certain small business customers for a period of one year commencing September 1, 2005. By having their payroll deposited into an account through Direct Deposit, qualifying employees of Wells Fargo small business customers will be able to open a Wells Fargo checking account free of monthly service fees, therefore, avoiding non-accountholder check cashing fees.

"The vast majority of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. As the number one lender to small businesses in the country, Wells Fargo is committed to providing products and services that help our small business customers and their employees succeed financially," said Laura Schulte, president of Wells Fargo's California Community Bank. "Settling this lawsuit makes good sense for our small business customers, their employees and for Wells Fargo."

"We are proud to have helped employers in this matter, while at the same time assisting those employees who may not otherwise be able to afford the check cashing fee imposed by the bank," said Nicholas P. Roxborough of Roxborough, Pomerance & Nye LLP.

Wells Fargo will mail information to its small business customers in California, as identified in the settlement agreement, about direct deposit payroll services.

Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $435 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,000 stores and the internet ( across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the United States to receive the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service.

Roxborough, Pomerance & Nye
Roxborough, Pomerance & Nye LLP is a Los Angeles-based law firm providing expert legal counsel and representation to the California business community. Established in 1996, the firm offers a broad range of legal services in all facets of civil litigation with its primary focus on employment, business, and insurance litigation. It is the first law firm in the country to specialize in and make new law when representing employers in workers' compensation premium and dividend disputes with insurance carriers.

Roxborough, Pomerance & Nye LLP
Nick Roxborough, 310-470-1869
Wells Fargo & Company
Julia S. Tunis, 415-222-3858

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