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Wells Fargo CEO: Our goal is NOT to make money

While Jim Cramer was happy that Fed chief Janet Yellen decided to keep interest rates low on Thursday, there is one group that could have really benefitted from a rate hike. That is the banks, because they make more money from customer deposits when the Fed raises short-term rates.

"Sooner or later, though, the Fed will start tightening, and when that happens you will want to own the best bank in the country, the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet This)

In fact, Cramer thinks Wells Fargo could be worth the wait because of its large deposit base, exposure to the mortgage market, streamlined business and fantastic management. That is exactly the reason why Cramer owns Wells Fargo in his charitable trust.

To find out what could be in store for this Cramer-fave bank going forward, Cramer spoke with Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf.





John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo
"Our number one goal when we get up in the morning is not about making money, it's about serving customers. That is the reason for a business. The result is you make money" -John Stumpf, Chairman & CEO, Wells Fargo

Cramer pointed out that what makes Wells Fargo unique is that it has stated that it will not wait for the Fed to move, it will do things to make money that many other banks are not doing.

"We actually went out last quarter and said we think rates could be lower for longer. We don't speculate on rates, but we do have views on things," Stumpf confirmed.

The CEO explained that in his opinion, the Fed's commentary and lack of action on Thursday was actually a statement about the rest of the world. If the United States was viewed in isolation, then it is actually doing OK. However, when taking the global economy and lack of exports into consideration, that could take a point off of U.S. GDP growth.

So, how the heck could Wells Fargo make money with lower rates? By being opportunistic in a decline.

"How you behave, and how you think about credit and serving customers in the boom times will allow you to have the capital and the capacity when the real opportunities come in the bad times," Stumpf said.

As an example, Stumpf explained that in 2008 there were other mortgage lenders were making loans with little verification or deposit requirements. Wells Fargo did not participate in most of that activity, which allowed the company to use its capital to purchase Wachovia when things fell apart. Stumpf added that a large acquisition such as that could probably never happen again in the industry.

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"We are essentially a main street bank. We do traditional banking. Some of it is quite sophisticated, but we are not a money center bank. We don't corner aluminum markets; that's not who we are," Stumpf added. (Tweet This)

Ultimately, the CEO's goal for Wells Fargo is not to make money. It is the thought process behind how the company goes to market and managing risk that will make the difference.

"Our No. 1 goal when we get up in the morning is not about making money, it's about serving customers. That is the reason for a business. The result is you make money," Stumpf said.

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