Wells Fargo on Tuesday reported its first quarterly loss since 2008, losing $2.4 billion as the pandemic’s economic shocks ravaged nearly every line of its business.
In a sign of more trouble ahead, the bank added $8.4 billion to its reserve for loan losses, more than twice what it set aside last quarter. It said it would, for the first time since the Great Recession, cut its dividend this quarter, dropping its payments to investors to 10 cents a share, down from the 51 cents it has paid for the last few quarters.
Charles W. Scharf, the bank’s chief executive, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the bank’s performance.
“While the negative impact of the pandemic is unprecedented and many of our business drivers were negatively impacted, our franchise should perform better,” he said in a statement. “We will make changes to improve our performance regardless of the operating environment.”
The bank’s revenue for its second quarter, which ended June 30, dropped to $17.8 billion, down nearly 18 percent from a year ago. Last year, it earned $6.2 billion during the quarter.
Wells Fargo is bracing for coming losses on its commercial loans, especially in real estate, where it set aside $6.4 billion. Consumer loans, especially mortgages, are also flashing warning lights; the bank added $2 billion to cover anticipated losses there.