Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wells Fargo unveils new disaster vehicle

Wells Fargo is getting ready for the next natural disaster, unveiling a heavy-duty vehicle designed to provide mortgage assistance to people in need.

So far, the lender has only one so-called Mobile Response Unit, which was unveiled Tuesday in Fort Mill and will be stored in the nearby Winston-Salem area.

Why unveil it in Fort Mill?

That's where Wells Fargo has a large mortgage-servicing operation. Since the vehicle is supposed to provide mortgage aid, the company chose Fort Mill to show it off. The bank has about 2,500 employees in its Fort Mill mortgage operation, by the way.

The 75-foot vehicle allows the bank to go to areas affected by a disaster within "just a few days," the San Francisco-based bank says. The bank said the vehicle can respond to disasters nationwide.

You might recall that, in the University City area in December, Wells Fargo showed off new trucks that also can be driven into disaster areas. The bank tells me that those trucks were mobile automated teller machines designed to let customers access cash in the wake of a disaster.

The new vehicle, meanwhile, does not have an ATM. It is designed to provide specific help to Wells Fargo's mortgage customers. For example, Wells Fargo says the vehicle will enable it to process insurance-claim checks in disaster areas. When it's not deployed in a disaster, the vehicle can be used to provide financial literacy in communities, the bank said.

Among other things, it has private offices, a kitchen and a bathroom.

Wells Fargo said SPEVCO, which is based in Pfafftown, N.C., helped construct the vehicle.

Below are photos that Wells Fargo provided us of the vehicle.