Wells Fargo Considering What to Do With Extra Cash, Stumpf Says

Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, speaking near the end of day-long presentations on the bank’s growth strategy, said the company is considering ways to use excess cash.

“We have tons of liquidity on the balance sheet that’s sub-optimized,” Stumpf said Tuesday at the San Francisco-based bank’s annual investor day. “In fact, it’s making us nothing. There could be some decisions along the way there.” He didn’t elaborate.

The bank had about $19.1 billion of cash on its balance sheet at the end of March. While senior executives laid out opportunities for increasing earnings without acquisitions, some said they would consider takeovers to expand businesses such as wealth management. In securities operations, the bank can increase work with existing clients, President Tim Sloan said, after a member of the audience pointed to that division.

“We’re never going to say ‘no’ to looking at any sort of acquisition” there, Sloan said. But the chances of doing a deal are “very unlikely and remote.” One reason is that Wells Fargo wants to preserve its risk management culture, he said.

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