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Wells Fargo Reports Strong Decline

Wells Fargo & Co. has reported a net income of $2.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with $6.1 billion for fourth quarter 2018, and $4.6 billion for third quarter 2019. 

“Wells Fargo is a wonderful and important franchise that has made some serious mistakes, and my mandate is to make the fundamental changes necessary to regain the full trust and respect of all stakeholders,” said Charlie Scharf, president and CEO. “During my first three months at Wells Fargo, my primary focus has been on advancing our required regulatory work with a different sense of urgency and resolve, while beginning to develop a path to improve our financial results. This work is necessary to build the appropriate foundation for us to move forward. Wells Fargo plays an important role for our country, and we know that ultimately our actions and results will dictate when that trust is fully regained. And while the work is substantial, I am confident that with the appropriate prioritization of resources, processes, and management attention, we can accomplish what is expected of us.”

Net interest income in the fourth quarter was $11.2 billion, down $425 million from third quarter 2019, predominantly due to balance sheet repricing driven by the impact of the lower interest rate environment, unfavorable hedge ineffectiveness accounting results, and higher mortgage-backed securities premium amortization, partially offset by the benefit of balance sheet growth. 

Noninterest income in the fourth quarter was $8.7 billion, down $1.7 billion from third quarter 2019. Fourth quarter noninterest income included lower other income, market sensitive revenue, and other fees, partially offset by higher mortgage banking income and service charges on deposit accounts. 

Other fees were $656 million, down $202 million compared with third quarter 2019, primarily due to lower commercial real estate brokerage commissions as a result of the sale of Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate brokerage business, Eastdil Secured, on Oct. 1. 

Mortgage banking income was $783 million, up from $466 million in third quarter 2019.

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