business

Wells Fargo Profit rises 32% and cost savings

Wells Fargo Profit rises 32% and cost savings

WFC 1.30%

Wells Fargo


WFC 1.30%

& Co. said the profit increased by 32% in the third quarter because it continued to depress costs and give companies a boost, while trying to ignore regulatory issues.

Shares increased about 1.5% after the results were announced.

The bank reported a profit of $ 6.01 billion, or $ 1.13 per share. Analysts questioned by Refinitiv had expected a profit of $ 1.17 per share.

Revenue rose from $ 21.85 billion in the same period last year to $ 21.94 billion.

The return on equity of Wells Fargo, an important measure of profitability, rose to 12.04% in the third quarter.

The San Francisco-based lender still finds it hard to get past the sales practice scandal that broke out in his retail bank about two years ago. There have been problems with the bank's other business lines and the bank is facing numerous investigations by the regulatory authorities.

For Chief Executive Timothy Sloan, the more immediate concerns about growth and costs.

At the end of September, the bank said that it would like to save as many as 26,500 jobs in the next three years, or up to 10%, because it is adjusting to changing consumer behavior.

Wells Fargo also remains under an unprecedented growth of the Federal Reserve. In September, chief financial officer John Shrewsberry said the bank expects the Fed to cancel the asset cap in the first half of 2019.

Wells Fargo was one of the most consistent large banks in terms of growing revenues and revenues. But his shares performed less well than comparable companies after the sales practice scandal.

Since then, the bank has revealed a range of problems in its asset management activities and more recent compliance problems in its wholesale banking division serving business customers.

The sales scandal and other regulatory investigations have increased spending in recent quarters, but costs fell by 4% to $ 13.76 billion in the third quarter. The bank, however, recorded $ 605 million in operating losses due to customer repayments, including $ 241 million related to improper car loan charges.

It recorded a one-time gain of $ 638 million from the sale of $ 1.7 billion in Pick-a-Pay mortgage loans.

The earnings in Wells Fargo's community banking unit, which includes the unit responsible for the dubious sales tactics of the past few years, amounted to $ 2.82 billion, jumping 50% from the $ 1.88 billion that he earned in the third quarter of 2017.

The retail banking sector is once again undergoing a major shift and the future looks like high-tech, advanced and, for large banks, very urban. So what has changed? Photo: Shaumbé Wright / The Wall Street Journal

Wells Fargo's mortgage business, the largest in the United States on volume, earned $ 846 million in fees in the third quarter, down 19% from the $ 1.05 billion in the same period a year ago deserved. The bank provided $ 46 billion in home loans between the end of June and the end of September, compared to $ 50 billion in the second quarter of 2018 and $ 59 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

The loan book of Wells Fargo shrank. The total number of loans at the end of the third quarter was $ 942.3 billion, down from $ 951.87 billion in the same period a year ago. Commercial loans, which make up one of the largest parts of the bank's total portfolio, amounted to $ 501.89 billion, up from $ 500.15 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

Despite the overall loan decline, the profitability of the credit activities of the bank increased. The net interest margin of Wells Fargo, a measure of how profitably it can lend to its customers' deposits, rose from 2.93% at the end of June to 2.94% and in the third quarter a year ago 2.87%.

Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com

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