Wells Fargo at 160!

Wells Fargo is now the nation's biggest bank by market value


Although Wells Fargo still has fewer bank deposits than its closest competitor, its total stock market value is now about $178 billion — that's about $70 billion more than Citigroup and about $9 billion more than JPMorgan. It has even overtaken the largest bank in Europe, London's HSBC.

This newly assumed title is not just a quirk of the stock markets. It symbolizes an important shift that has taken place over the last year: Investors and bankers have increasingly lost faith in the old Wall Street model that helped New York consolidate its status as the financial capital of the world.

The new favorites in the banking industry are institutions that focus on the more straightforward business of taking in deposits and doling out loans. Wells Fargo is the only one of the four U.S. banks with more than a trillion dollars in assets that does not have a major Wall Street operation.

"A lot of the trading and Wall Street-type of revenues are just going to go away or become much lower," said Eric Oja, a bank analyst at Standard & Poor's. "Wells is already miles ahead in terms of that transition."

The bank has plenty to celebrate these days — on Monday its chief financial officer will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the company's 160th birthday this month. That comes a few days after the Federal Reserve announced that Wells Fargo stood up better than the nation's other mega-banks in stress tests.
Comment: From an investing standpoint I have confidence in these three banks.

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