Wells Fargo Grows Investment Banking Business

While Wells Fargo has never been at the top of the table for its investment banking business, the bank landed for the first time in the top 10 for mergers and acquisitions advisory deals in 2022, according to Bloomberg.

The ranking may indicate that the bank, which is known for its consumer business, may be figuring out how to increase revenue in new ways. The progress comes during a tough year, with volatile market conditions and an uncertain outlook for the future affecting business across the industry.

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The bank generated about $1.1 billion in investment banking fees during the first three quarters of 2022. These include fees from M&A advisory and equity and debt underwriting for initial public offerings and fixed-income products. While it lagged behind competitors JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, Wells Fargo experienced less of a percentage drop in fees from the previous year than other banks. For the first three quarters, fees fell 27% for Wells Fargo, compared to about 43% for Bank of America and 64% for Citigroup.

Wells Fargo doesn’t plan on trying to attract a new kind of customer, according to Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf: "Because of the huge amount of credit exposures and exposures we have through our treasury management business to these customers," the bank will focus on serving existing customers it knows well, such as U.S. middle market customers in its strong commercial franchise, Scharf said at a conference in 2022.

The bank’s performance last year exhibits "a lot of progress, but I think until you stitch together several good years — including in growth years as opposed to down years — it's just a data point on a screen," Jon Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo's Corporate & Investment Bank, told Bloomberg.

The bank grew in total deal volume and tripled its market share during the first three quarters.