Tags: US | Banks | Higher | Corporate | Loan | Demand | Profits

US Banks Turn Profit Amid Higher Corporate Loan Demand

Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 10:43 AM

 

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Wells Fargo and US Bancorp, two of the largest U.S. banks, reported higher third-quarter earnings and said corporate loan demand is rising.

US Bancorp said it saw its first quarterly rise in total commercial loans since the end of 2008 and Wells Fargo also reported a quarterly increase in commercial lending.

The pickup in borrowing is a boost to the banks, which have struggled even as losses on bad loans eased this year because consumers and businesses still spooked by the financial crisis were choosing to hoard cash rather than borrow.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said it saw a pickup in auto and student lending, as well as commercial real estate and other types of loans.

Both banks said they are seeing lower loan losses, but US Bancorp continued to add to its cushion against future bad loans, while Wells Fargo released $650 million from its loss reserve.

Shares of Wells Fargo were down about 1.4 percent at $24.30 in premarket trading, while US Bancorp shares climbed less than 1 percent to $22.90 from $22.81 on Tuesday.

But while their credit reports were similar, the banks' revenues went in sharply different directions.

US Bancorp, bolstered by its large fee-based businesses, said quarterly revenue rose 8 percent.

Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest U.S. bank, reported a 7 percent decline in revenue, hurt by regulatory changes and lower gains on investments.

Wells Fargo's consumer banking business reported a 13 percent decline in revenue as rule changes stopped it from charging customers certain fees.

Minneapolis-based US Bancorp said profit climbed more than 50 percent to $908 million, or 45 cents a share, from $603 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 43 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Wells Fargo reported that earnings increased to $3.34 billion from $3.24 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share rose to 60 cents from 56 cents in the year-earlier period.

U.S. banks have come under fire in recent weeks for filing faulty foreclosure documents with courts and some imposed a temporary halt to home seizures while they reviewed their foreclosure process.

US Bancorp regularly reviews its foreclosure process and has confirmed its affidavits are accurate and no one is mistakenly turned out of their home, USB Chief Executive Richard Davis said in a statement.

"We do believe, however, that a blanket foreclosure moratorium should be avoided in the interest of the national economic recovery." Wells Fargo also has no plans to place a moratorium on foreclosures, Chief Executive John Stumpf said in a statement.

Concerns that banks could be forced to buy back billions of dollars of faulty mortgages from investors roiled bank stocks on Tuesday.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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