Financial Business Review: Wells Fargo Wealth Management, HSBC Earnings

The assets of European banks that are being downsized, will be targeted for purchase along with other acquisitions by Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) as it increases the sizes its wealth management and insurance divisions, according to CEO John Stumpf. He also remarks that the bank has 10 percent of U.S. retail deposits but not as much of the wealth as it would like.
Investing Insights: Wells Fargo Sells Overland Stake.
Calling it a year of “major progress” HSBC (NYSE:HBC) announces that its annual profits reach £13.8 billion, which is a 15 percent increase. With pretax profit rising 31 percent to nearly £5 billion, its commercial banking unit had a record year as well, and the faster-growing markets of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa were credited with 49 percent of group revenue. Additionally, HSBC’s 2011 dividend of $0.41, is up 14 percent
The year-to-date surge in bank stocks could be enhanced by banks’ doubling their payouts to shareholders in dividends and buybacks this year, according to Credit Suisse analysts. The firm expects the Fed to permit greater payout ratios at regional banks, and comments that the best positioned for increase payouts are American Express (NYSE:AXP), State Street (NYSE:STT), USB (NYSE:USB), JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).
Warren Buffet says that Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), in which Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) (NYSE:BRKB) owned a 7.6 percent stake at the end of 2011, is his favorite bank stock. In a video, Buffet promotes foreclosure properties, and tells CNBC that he has bought shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) in his personal account.
Investing Insights: Wall Street Analyst: JP Morgan Chase Should Split.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com