Wells Fargo CEO Sees More Mortgage Growth

Thursday, 17 Jan 2013 | 5:34 PM ET
Wells Fargo CEO: Recovery Not As Strong As It Needs to Be
Wells Fargo is putting its best on growing net interest income -- despite a low rate environment. John Stumpf, chairman, president, & CEO of Wells Fargo, weighs in.

Wells Fargo isn't overly exposed to the U.S. mortgage market and still has opportunities to grow that business, CEO John Stumpf told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"This is a broad, diverse financial services company that provides services for all kinds of customers," Stumpf said.

But while it has 84 different businesses, much of the focus is on the bank's massive mortgage banking operations.

Stumpf said the bank's real share of the U.S. mortgage market is only 15 percent. It also holds 10 percent of all U.S. deposits.

Since not every depositor has a mortgage with Wells Fargo, Stumpf said "15 percent is not that outsized, we still have tons of opportunity."

Wells Fargo also sees opportunities to grow its wealth, brokerage and retirement business, where it is "undersized."

Looking at the broader economy, Stumpf said 2012 marked a turning point for housing, which is a good thing for the economy. "When housing does well everything else seems to really do well," he said. "It's quite a multiplier effect."

But while housing is on sturdier ground, the energy sector is doing well and manufacturing has been coming back, the recovery is not as strong as it needs to be, Stumpf said because of all the uncertainty hanging over the economy.

The uncertainty about how Washington will deal with the country's fiscal problems is one such cloud. "We need revenue and we need expenses," Stumpf said. "Then we can pivot to a growth agenda. We're going to grow our way out of this. We're not going to save our way out or tax our way out."

Stumpf also worries about regulation. If the Volcker Rule, for instance, were written to broadly it could affect the bank's ability to lock in mortgage rates for customers.

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