NEW YORK (AFP) – U.S. banking giant Wells Fargo Friday reported a 19.4 percent increase in quarterly profits, boosted by better credit quality in the improving housing market and higher overall loans.
Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage originator, said earnings for the second quarter came in at $5.5 billion compared with $4.6 billion a year earlier.
Revenues inched higher to $21.4 billion from $21.3 billion.
A key factor in the improved performance was better credit quality, with loan losses falling to $1.2 billion in the period from $2.2 billion a year ago.
“The consumer loss levels have improved rapidly due primarily to the positive momentum in the residential real estate market, with home prices improving faster and in more markets than expected,” said chief risk officer Mike Loughlin.
The better conditions permitted Wells Fargo to write back to profits $500 million from earlier loss allowances.