SOURCE: Operation HOPE, Inc.

August 11, 2008 08:00 ET

Wells Fargo Donates $100,000 to Operation HOPE'S Financial Literacy Movement for Economic Empowerment

Support of Banking on Our Future Initiative Moves HOPE's "Silver Rights" Agenda Forward

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 11, 2008) - Wells Fargo today continued to recognize the good work of nonprofit financial literacy leader Operation HOPE (HOPE), announcing a $100,000 commitment to the organization to further its youth financial literacy program in the Los Angeles area.

A signature partner and sponsor of the award-winning, Banking on Our Future initiative since 1995, Wells Fargo also has its own financial literacy program for school-aged youth and adults. The partnership stems from HOPE's ability to deliver, finance-based curriculum into the classroom, whether it is HOPE's own curriculum or the bank's program. Wells Fargo works in close cooperation with HOPE to provide the training in schools throughout Southern California markets.

"We appreciate Wells Fargo and its commitment to our 'Silver Rights' mission -- promoting dignity by creating opportunities for economic empowerment to the underserved. For more than a decade now, their dedication has remained consistent," said John Hope Bryant, HOPE founder, chairman, and chief executive officer who also serves as vice chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. "Wells Fargo continues to provide prospects and hope for underserved communities in Los Angles where it is needed most."

"Wells Fargo is committed to being a leader in promoting financial education and promoting economic self-sufficiency," says Tom Swanson, regional manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and HOPE Southwestern Board Member. "There's a critical need for financial education in America. The vast majority of students today have never taken a financial education class, which is why groups like Operation HOPE are so important to the future success of our young people."

Wells Fargo is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance for more than 23 million customers through 6,000 stores, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo has $609 billion in assets and 169,400 team members serving customers in more than 80 businesses. Wells Fargo is among the ten biggest givers in the U.S. to corporate philanthropy, according to BusinessWeek, and was named the largest corporate giver to Los Angeles County non-profit organizations last year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Early support for Operation HOPE began when Wells Fargo's first contribution to HOPE'S Banking on Our Future helped get the fledgling initiative off the ground. The program has received the prestigious Oprah's Angel Network Award and has also been recognized by the U.S. Treasury Department with the John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. Banking on Our Future provides an on-the-ground and online program that offers four core modules on financial literacy education. To date, HOPE Corps volunteers have educated nearly 304,000 students nationwide on how to manage money and make investments.

About Wells Fargo, Inc.

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $609 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet ( across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest possible credit rating from both Moody's Investors Service, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Operation HOPE (HOPE) is a leading global nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. Through various initiatives and its three principal programs: "Banking on Our Future" (teaching youth about financial empowerment), HOPE Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and recovery), and the HOPE Center Banking Network (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), HOPE is at the forefront of a "Silver Rights" movement, making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities.

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