Wells Fargo Forms Clean Tech Investment Group

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) became the latest in the banking community to form a clean technology investment group.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement Wednesday that its new clean technology group will be located in Palo Alto, Calif. and will “offer customized commercial banking products and services to businesses that manufacture, market or develop clean technology products and services, such as solar and wind power, energy and water efficiency, electric and low-emission vehicles, and smart grid applications.”

Wells Fargo has already been lending money to clean-technology companies, but wanted to make this sector a priority, as Wells Fargo expects it to grow.

The bank said it has contributed $5 billion in financing for “environmentally- friendly business opportunities,” including $1.6 billion for solar and wind projects and $3 billion to support buildings constructed according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building standards.

Wells Fargo also wants to reduce its own impact on the environment. It said last month that it had implemented a company-wide goal for a 20% emissions reduction by 2018.

Puon Penn, former senior vice president of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking, will head the new group, the bank said.

The bank couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wells Fargo overall has $1.2 trillion in assets.

Shares of Wells Fargo closed up Wednesday 49 cents, or 1.73% at 28.86 on the New York Stock Exchange.

By Sari Kreiger, Dow Jones Clean Technology Insight; Sari.Kreiger@ dowjones.com

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