It’s possible that if Wells Fargo (WFC) hadn’t tried to play the role of hero when it outbid Citigroup (C) for Wachovia last year, then it would be more like JPMorgan (JPM), and less like BofA (BAC) in terms of getting out of TARP.
It also seems possible that Citi would be in better shape, too.
So Wells CEO John Stumpf is out there, spill spinning the deal, arguing that it’s really not that bad.
WSJ: The integration of Wachovia, which gives the combined bank nearly 6,700 branches in 39 states and Washington, D.C., “is on plan, on schedule and on budget,” said Mr. Stumpf, who turned 56 years old Tuesday.
Some analysts and investors have expressed doubts that the roughly $40 billion structured into the purchase for potential losses in Wachovia’s vast portfolio of loans, including option adjustable-rate mortgages that Wachovia inherited when it bought Golden West Financial Corp. in 2006, will be enough. Mr. Stumpf said Wells Fargo has absorbed $7.3 billion of losses, leaving the bank “$30 billion in write-downs not used so far.”
And of course he was asked about the “Party House”
Wells Fargo had agreed with the owners that the bank would maintain the home but not put it up for sale for a certain period of time.
“It hurts,” Mr. Stumpf said about the incident. The executive’s conduct was “totally in violation of our culture and our code,” and Wells Fargo will review policies for employees who deal with repossessed properties to make sure such violations don’t happen again, he said. On Monday, Wells Fargo said that the executive had been fired.
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