Wells Fargo Bank, rated as the nation’s top financial institution, made a proposal to County Commissioners this week, to present the opportunity for an ongoing banking system for local County offices.

Patrick Foley, Senior Vice President, and manager of the Government Services branch in the Las Vegas office, said the online system “would provide, at no cost to the County, the ability to scan checks by a scanning device, uploaded directly into an account in the main bank, and then credited to the account.”

But the decision does not rest with the Commissioners, it rests with County Treasurer Shawn Frehner, and Wells Fargo is only one of three or four banking institution courting the County’s business.

She said other quotes she have received for the same type of remote online service have come from Bank of Nevada, Washington Federal, and Bank of America. “It’s possible we might stay with Bank of America, even though they will not have a local presence in the county.”  However, Wells Fargo is the only one who has chosen to appear before the County Commission.

Frehner said because of the change in the local market, with Washington Mutual taking over the Bank of America branch, is why the Treasurer’s department is listening to various proposals. “This is not a forced change, it’s optional,” she said.

In his presentation, Foley said the advantage of the online system, “is that you would not need to go to the bank anymore, nor deposit the paper checks.” The physical checks are held for a specified amount of time, then shredded.

Foley said, “This program is going to help protect your monies, allow us to be able to collect the checks that are being processed by the County Treasurer now and have those funds invested while they are in with us, in a simple short-term money market for investment opportunities. These are liquid funds that you would be able to use at any moment.”

Noting such a system has “some pluses and some negatives,” Frehner said one of the  negatives, “would be that we would not have a local bank to go to, we would have to do everything online. Another negative of going online then would be to “not be supporting a local branch.”

She said she hoped to make a decision by the first of March.