Bloomberg News

Stumpf Wants to Give More Dividends and Buy Back More Shares

December 07, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf said he wants to give shareholders more dividends and buy back more shares.

“More means more” on higher dividends and buybacks, Stumpf said today at a conference hosted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York.

Stumpf boosted the quarterly dividend at the San Francisco- based bank from 5 cents to 12 cents earlier this year, and the company announced it would repurchase 200 million shares. Chief Financial Officer Timothy J. Sloan told investors Nov. 3 that he was “optimistic” the Fed would let the firm boost the payout and repurchase more shares next year.

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are among lenders that may have to temper plans to raise dividends and buy back stock next year as the Federal Reserve strengthens capital tests for the biggest U.S. banks.

The Fed imposed the tougher standards on the 31 largest U.S. banks last month, releasing the criteria for measuring their wherewithal if the economy sours and major trading partners default on their debt. Lenders need to prove they have the capital to withstand a “severe” U.S. recession before they can increase dividends or repurchase shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Dickson at

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