Wells Fargo sees ‘relatively stable’ January retail trends

A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City
A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

February 17, 2017

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> saw “relatively stable” trends in branch banking in January, the executive in charge of the unit said on Friday.

Branch interactions fell 12 percent from December and four percent from January 2016, but other metrics showed growth versus a year ago.

“After factoring in day count differences and typical seasonality, trends were relatively stable in January and within our expectations,” Mary Mack, who took over leadership of Wells Fargo’s branch banking unit last year, said in a press release.

Wells Fargo has been reporting monthly on customer activity in its branch banking unit ever since the bank was rocked in September by revelations that employees opened as many as two million credit card and checking accounts without customer authorization.

Total customer branch interactions were down 12 percent from December and four percent versus a year ago. Customers opened 18 percent more checking accounts than they did in December but 31 percent fewer than in January of 2016. Debit and credit card use were both up compared to a year ago, but down versus December in what the bank said was a typical seasonal slowdown after the holidays.

Wells Fargo shares were down 0.71 percent Friday morning at$57.71.

(Reporting by Dan Freed in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)