This bank is about to become the biggest EVER

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In a year when banks' performance has been lackluster at best, Wells Fargo has been anything but.

The company's shares have zoomed 13.6 percent higher in 2014, while the KBW Bank Index has slogged to a 1.6 percent gain, and financials have registered just a 2.9 percent increase.

As a result, Wells Fargo is about to become the most valuable bank ever, with its $272.36 billion market capitalization just short of the $282.75 billion record set by Citigroup in 2001, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Wells Fargo is third in the U.S. by total assets behind JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, but it has become easily the best performer among the nation's big financial institutions.