Wells Fargo profit rises 20 percent

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wells Fargo's fourth-quarter earnings rose 20%, but revenue declined as the bank coped with a sluggish economic recovery.

The bank, based in San Francisco, turned a $4.1 billion profit in the fourth quarter, or 73 cents a share, as its loan portfolio showed signs of improving and it avoided exposure to the volatile investment banking business. That compared with a profit of $3.4 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the period a year earlier. The figures — padded somewhat by the bank’s decision to set aside $600 million less in reserves to cover soured loans — narrowly beat analysts’ consensus estimate of 72 cents a share.
Wells Fargo and its fellow big banks are struggling to recoup precious revenue lost to a new rule that limits fees charged to merchants when a consumer uses a debit card. The rule, known as the Durbin amendment, after its sponsor Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, is expected to cost banks hundreds of millions of dollars every quarter.

Read more at The New York Times.

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