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On the Call: Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf on mortgages

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POSTED January 19, 2012 6:54 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo reported gains in its mortgage business for the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

The amount of new mortgages the San Francisco-based bank wrote during the last three months of 2011 jumped 35 percent compared with the third quarter, to $120 billion. Fees from mortgage banking slipped 14 percent from the 2010 fourth quarter, but jumped 29 percent from the third quarter, to $2.36 billion.

The bank said its profit margin on mortgages was up from the third quarter, which it attributed to lower internal costs. And the bank said it has taken some market share from rivals.

CEO John Stumpf discussed Wells Fargo's mortgage business with analysts.

Q: You had great revenue numbers this quarter, particularly on the production side, and great production numbers for this quarter. Usually that tends to follow through into good revenues. Can you talk about what might be impacting the mortgage bank as we look at first quarter?

A: We like the mortgage business. We have been taking share, and that business, for two thirds of Americans, it is the most significant financial asset they have. In consumer banking, we believe you have to be good at the mortgage business. I can't predict where volumes or origination as are going to go, but we believe this is a strong business for our company and we like it.

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