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Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Affirms Plan to Return More Capital

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Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. home lender, will ask regulators to let the bank return more capital to shareholders, Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf told investors.

Stumpf, speaking today at a New York conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said he couldn’t give specifics of the plan, which requires review from the Federal Reserve. Returning capital typically involves raising dividends and buying back stock.

Stumpf, 59, has taken market share and reaped higher fees in U.S. mortgages, where Wells Fargo accounted for 1 of every 3 home loans at midyear. While the San Francisco-based company reported record third-quarter profit, margins have been under pressure as older, higher-yielding investments expire.

“I do believe we can grow net interest income into the future, even in low rates and slow growth,” Stumpf said. “We have more buttons to push.”

Wells Fargo gained 19 percent this year through yesterday, trailing the 22 percent average for the 24-company KBW Bank Index. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, is the biggest stockholder.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugh Son in New York at hson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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