Wells Fargo keeps growing, even as its rivals shrink.
With its earnings report Friday, the San Francisco-based bank laid claim to the title of third-largest U.S. bank by assets, eclipsing New York-based Citigroup in the measure of total loans, securities and other holdings.
Wells, the largest U.S. bank by market value, saw its total assets grow 6 percent to $1.79 trillion, while Citi’s fell 6 percent to $1.73 trillion.
Wells Fargo’s growth spurt started in 2008 when it more than doubled its assets to $1.3 trillion by buying ailing Charlotte-based Wachovia. Since then, it has continued making more loans on its own and snapping up loan portfolios in deals with companies such as General Electric.
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Meanwhile, competitors such as Citigroup and Charlotte-based Bank of America have been shedding assets to raise capital and simplifiy their business models, with the strong backing of watchful regulators.
In April 2009, after buying investment bank Merril Lynch, Bank of America had $2.52 trillion in assets. At the end of September, the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets was down to $2.15 trillion. It will report an updated total on Tuesday.
Wells still has a way to go to catch the biggest bank by assets: JPMorgan Chase. On Thursday, the New York-based bank disclosed total assets of $2.35 trillion. But that was down 3 percent from the previous quarter.