Wells Fargo & Co reported record earnings of $3.4 billion or 61 cents per share for the fourth quarter 2010. The company also saw improvement in credit quality for the quarter, with nonperforming loans, nonperforming assets, and net charges off all decreasing. For the first time in over a year Wells Fargo & Co saw an increase in loan growth quarter over quarter at just less than 1%. Although a small percentage change, seeing growth in loans is very positive for the banking industry as well as the whole economy.
The Bank did put up strong earnings but there are still a number of concerns looming. The fourth quarter results were inflated by $850 million released from loan loss reserves. There is also the threat that the company may have to buy back some mortgages that were sold improperly. Some analysts say this could be upwards of $2 billion. Net interest margin, the difference between what the bank pays for funds and what it charges for loans, narrowed to 4.16 percent from 4.25 percent in the third quarter.