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Wells Fargo (WFC) to Combine Corporate and Investment Banks

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With a view to trim costs and enhance the quality of customer service, Wells Fargo & Company WFC is making plans to merge corporate and investment banks. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the journal reported that the bank’s restructuring move is likely to result in job cuts in industry coverage, advising, equity and debt capital along with corporate-level relationship managerial positions.

Since news of the fake account scandals broke out, a lot of employees at Wells Fargo have been laid off. In July 2017, the company had removed about 70 senior executives from their posts. Some of the employees had moved to lower level positions while some preferred to shift to a new company.

Furthermore, in its annual filing, Wells Fargo disclosed that it overcharged customers in its investment and fiduciary services business.  Also, the company said the review process of the Wealth and Investment Management segment is in “preliminary stages”.

Due to the review conducted on the bank’s operations and staff level adjustments, some positions of Wells Fargo’s senior and junior level employees across credit sales and trading areas are likely to be affected. Per the newspaper, layoffs due to the review are not linked with Wells Fargo’s integration plans.

We believe that Wells Fargo’s bottom-line growth is likely to be affected by legal hassles in the near term. However, the bank’s efforts to revamp its financial position along with support from lower tax rates and rising rate environment might help it overcome the negatives.

Wells Fargo’s shares have lost 3.4% over the past six months against the 5.7% growth for the industry it belongs to.

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Fifth Third Bancorp FITB has witnessed an upward estimate revision of nearly 1% in the last 30 days. Additionally, the stock has rallied more than 29% in the past year. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

M&T Bank Corporation’s MTB earnings estimates for the current year have been revised slightly upward over the last 30 days. Its shares have gained 21.9% in the past year. It carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated HBAN witnessed a slight upward earnings estimate revision for the current year, over the last 60 days. The company’s shares have soared around 15% in a year’s time. It also carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

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