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      Horse drawn carriage welcomes new bank to the Midlands

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Wednesday morning Columbia police officers were out directing traffic near the Statehouse for a horse drawn carriage.

      City of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and others getting a ride on the signature stagecoach of Wells Fargo.

      It was all part of a ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming the new bank to the Midlands.

      Bank officials say the conversion from Wachovia was three years in the making and that about five hundred people were hired during the process.

      So far 148 branches are now open in the Palmetto State of that 30 are here in the Midlands.

      State officials say this gives South Carolina a better opportunity within economic development.

      "Having a major international player like Wells Fargo will help local businesses and they are going to be a great partner a lot of jobs, a lot of tax dollars here and a lot of loans. This is a win for South Carolina," says Curtis Loftis, South Carolina State Treasurer.

      The transition from Wachovia to Wells Fargo was made official September 17th.

      Bank officials say this is known as the largest bank merger in U.S history.

      During the celebration a hand full of organizations from the Midlands received a charity gift from Wells Fargo.

      The highest gift was a check of $75,000 to The American Cancer Society of South Carolina.