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Strong loan growth boosts Wells Fargo Q3

NEW YORK -- Wells Fargo Bank said Friday that strong loan growth, especially in mortgages and improved credit quality, helped boost its third quarter bottom line by 22 percent over the previous year.

The second U.S. bank, after JPMorgan Chase, to cite the rebounding home mortgage business for its quarterly gains, Well Fargo said net earnings for the three months to Sept. 30 were US$4.94 billion, compared to US$4.06 billion a year before.

Earnings per share rose to 88 cents from 72 cents, slightly better than analysts had forecast.

“In the third quarter, core loans grew by US$11.9 billion and we saw continued strength in our mortgage and deposit businesses,” said Chief Executive John Stumpf.

“We remained diligent in managing costs and continued to have strong underlying credit performance as our loss mitigation efforts and the low interest rate environment helped improve affordability for our customers.”

A 13-percent fall in loan loss provisioning also underscored the year-on-year gain, reflecting the improving economy, the bank said.

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