Wells Fargo’s third-quarter profit is down. In part, this is because the bank’s revenues are down—possibly because no one trusts it anymore—but mostly because Wells is going to have to pony up another $1 billion to make another regulatory investigation go away.
None of the above is surprising. Nor should the fact that—in spite of the current mortgage scandal currently embroiling the bank (among others!)—the billion-dollar charge is actually to pay off decade-old mortgage scandals. And yet:
“That charge was something of a surprise for us, but let us leave that on the side and the underlying trends remains in a lackluster trend,” Chris Kotowski, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., said in a note Friday.
The only surprise in any of this is that Wells Fargo retains its ability to surprise anyone with bad news.