Wells Fargo & Co. charged off $329 million in credit card loans during the second quarter, up 72% from $191 million during the same quarter last year. Card interest income totaled $561 million, up nearly 4% from $540 million. The average of consumer credit card receivables during the second quarter was $19 billion, up 27% from $15 billion during the second quarter of 2007. Wells earned $588 million in income during the quarter from noninterest fees on credit and debit cards, up 14% from $517 million during last year's second quarter. In a prerecorded earnings report this morning, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Howard Atkins said he expected tighter credit standards to help reduce risk and increase earnings of the bank's card portfolio. "We have made significant investments in default management, continue to tighten underwriting standards and are appropriately priced for risk," Atkins said. "The interest spread on total credit cards is positive even with the higher loss rates in this portfolio." Bankwide, Wells reported a 22% reduction in second-quarter net income, to $1.8 billion from $2.3 billion during the same period a year ago.

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