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Continued: Efficiency push drives Wells Fargo

  • Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 14, 2013 - 9:33 PM

The bank has mined a rich vein of gold in mortgages, despite its hand in the housing collapse and foreclosure crisis. But with the interest-rate driven boom in mortgage refinancing cooling, it has been shifting energy to home purchase loans.

Mortgages aren’t the bank’s only ambition. Wells Fargo shifted gears after swallowing Wachovia Corp. in 2008, widening its strategy beyond its traditional consumer banking base and venturing deeper into investment banking.

About 30 percent of Wells’ fee income in the first quarter came from trust and investment income, an area that has generated more fee income for the bank that any other category, including mortgage banking, in recent quarters.

Wells Fargo is also expanding the securities business. The bank has about 20,700 employees now in the Charlotte, N.C., area and recently opened a large securities trading floor in the Duke Energy Center in downtown Charlotte devoted to bonds and other fixed income instruments.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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